Movie Review: La La Land
By Felix Quinonez Jr.
February 6, 2017
Their second meeting is equally brief and unromantic. Sebastian is working as the pianist at a restaurant where his boss makes him play corny holiday songs. Feeling uninspired, Sebastian decides to break from the approved set list and cuts loose.
At this point, Mia just happens to walk in after hearing his music from outside. She spent a similarly vacuous night at a soulless party filled with people she describes as social climbers. When she hears the passion of Sebastian’s music, she’s immediately captivated. Unfortunately playing that music against his boss’s wishes gets him fired. When Mia she goes to talk to him, Sebastian very rudely walks past her. For those keeping score, that could qualify as strike two for them.
Their third meeting is when things finally begin to turn around for these would-be lovers. Mia attends a party where Sebastian happens to be playing keyboard/keytar in an ‘80s cover band. She requests “I ran” by A Flock of Seagulls, which he explains is something you don’t ask of a serious musician. Things are initially very icy between them as they have their first real conversation. But even as they trade barbs, it’s very clear there are sparks between them. (The fact that Stone and Gosling have such great chemistry together definitely helps.)
That could almost be strike three but luckily, later in the night, as the party is ending, Mia sees Sebastian as a ticket to getting out of a terrible conversation when she is stuck talking to a self-absorbed screenwriter who wants to turn Goldilocks into a Hollywood franchise .
The two of them share a polite enough walk looking for Mia’s car, but it is here that the ice between them finally begins to melt. During their search, they break into a musical number on a hilltop. Still, instead of confessing their love for each other, they declare that nothing could ever happen between them,
It feels more like they are trying to convince themselves rather than actually believing this sentiment. By the end of the song, they are about to kiss, except they are interrupted by a call from Mia’s boyfriend. Eventually, they find her car, say goodnight and head their separate ways. But at this point their fates are sealed.
The next day, he comes to visit her at work. As she gives him a tour of the WB lot, they get to know each other and the love they share for their own craft. Mia reveals how she got into acting while a movie is being shot behind them. By the time they finish the tour, it’s become clear that they have feelings for each other.
Just as things are looking up, they hit another snag; Mia hates Jazz. Sebastian obviously can’t stand for this, so he takes her to a jazz café. There, it’s his turn to talk about his passion and his dream to open up his own jazz club. And although she still has a boyfriend, it’s not long before she’s ditching the guy to spend time with Sebastian. As their courtship proceeds, their feeling intensify and they become closer and happier together. And like all romances, for a while, things seem perfect.