Musical, Romantic Comedy

A sweeping romance – at times feeling as though absolutely made for romantic cinema dates – La La Land is a modern tale that wears its influences on its sleeve in homage to the heyday of the Hollywood musical. About a wannabe actress (Emma Stone) and an aspiring jazz club owner (Ryan Gosling) who fall in love, its story eventually rests on the choice between whether to be with the one you love or to follow your dreams. The thrills wear off a little in the second half as the film starts to feel like just another romcom; director Damien Chazelle’s premise “to take the old musical but ground it in real life where things don’t always exactly work out” ultimately stops the film from becoming the dazzling musical masterpiece as such that it admires. Nevertheless, it is brilliant; the musical numbers are absolutely fabulous, the cinematography and vivid technicolour are dazzling, and Emma Stone delivers perhaps the performance of her lifetime.