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BenderBot

IGN:
La La Land Review

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La La Land is a joyous filmgoing experience, a musical brimming with optimism that never becomes treacly, ably directed by Whiplash's Damien Chazelle and featuring fantastic performances by leads Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

It's an homage to a bygone era of Hollywood musicals while also refreshing the genre, a love letter to Los Angeles while also representing the city's many flaws, and an ode to dreamers while also exploring the costs that come with exploring your dreams. The film's strengths are in these dichotomies, which Chazelle deftly explores in a tight script that slips between gloriously saturated and surrealist musical sequences and raw human experiences.

Like its title, La La Land takes a stereotype about the Los Angeles experience that most natives would find cringeworthy and spins it into something lovely. The film follows two dreamers who came to the city to follow their passion of the arts: Mia (Stone) wants to be an actress, while Sebastian (Gosling) one day hopes to open a jazz club. Both are struggling to see those dreams realized when they meet; she has found no success in auditions and is getting by working as a barista on the Warner Bros. lot, and he begrudgingly plays piano stints at bars and restaurants that don't allow him to showcase his talent. The two meet and fall in love, both pushing each other to find the successes they dream of while also butting heads about where to find value in their successes.

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