La La Land Review!

By: Nicole Sarkaria and Sofie Kato


Looking for a good movie to see? La La Land is the talk of the town. Nominated for many golden globe awards and earning four and a half stars on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie is worth the trip to the theater. Villa Park students Nicole Sarkaria and Sofie Kato were inspired to share their positive reviews of the movie.

Nicole Sarkaria:

New and Old mixed together all in one. La la land is an exciting music filled romance starring Emma Watson and Ryan Gosling. It is nominated for numerous golden globe awards, and a myriad of others awards that definitely speak highly of the new film. Not only does all of its nominations show that this film is one you should see, but so does the cast. You know Emma and Ryan’s amazing screen history and acting in Crazy, Stupid, Love; and their performance in numerous other very successful movies as well.

From the beginning of the movie, to the last scene, I was encaptured in the plot, the brilliant colors, and the obvious skill in the art of making movies. Damien Chazelle did a wonderful job of incorporating the aspect of a musical, without overwhelming the audience. I think that many people were skeptical about this new cheerful looking movie, because the only thing they had witnessed before this was High School Musical. Let’s be honest here, not everyone liked High School Musical. However, La la land was a movie that changed the dynamics of a Musical all together, I think, but still stayed true to the music, and the colors that really made this movie something that many people could enjoy and love to see.


If you want a movie that will dazzle, put you into a frenzy of the emotions of life; if you will, and leave you with feelings of resolve and content, then ask a friend to the movies. Make time to go see the movie in theatres while it’s still there. Don’t opt out halfway there and rent it on itunes, or amazon. Go out. See a movie that will leave an imprint on your memory, in all aspects. Who knows you might have a real experience. 

I cannot promise, but I can say that more often not, the people leaving the theatre after seeing La la land, will leave the theater fulfilled in some way.

Sofie Kato: 

A movie that relays what’s it’s like for an aspiring actress as she tries to make it big in Hollywood and a jazz pianist who wants to keep the genre alive, the director, Damien Chazelle, beautifully composes the story of two struggling artists that fall in love.  As they coincidentally  meet in various places around Hollywood, they soon try to help each other make it big, only to have to separate to follow their dreams.  I personally loved all of the musical aspects, as this movie combined wit, humor, love, soul, and ultimately, reality.  As the main character, Mia (Emma Stone), had countless rejections after several auditions, she continues to pursue her dream, with the help of Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), and creates her own one woman musical.  And although she has critics, one company sees her talent.  She has given up at this point, but Sebastian helps her realize that she has so much more potential.  

This is a beautiful production of two normal people, trying to get any job they can, to raise enough money so that they can pursue their dreams.  The singing and dancing provided catchy tunes, and the dedication behind the actors was shown.  Ryan Gosling, who has never played piano before, learned how to play in 2 months, and some of the pieces that he does seem very complicated.  Sebastian’s love of jazz got me really interested in jazz, as the music is soulful and beautiful.  The movie is also organized by seasons, so the audience knows the approximate time phrase of everything, and this makes the movie easy to follow.  This movie is also a special ode to Hollywood as Mia works on the Warner Brothers lot and together, they go throughout the Griffith Observatory, and some of the old theaters that made Hollywood iconic.  I would really love to explore L.A one day, as I have never gotten the chance to, and this only made me want to do it more so.  

For those who enjoy it, it provides a classical love story, but the overall experience is not focused on love.  There are little anecdotes that show the possibility of what Sebastian and Mia’s life could have been, but what it never turned out to be.  In the end Mia accomplished her dream of becoming that famous actress, and Sebastian opened his own jazz club.  That shows this this movie was not focused on the main characters falling in love with each other, but rather the main characters falling in love with their craft.  They put themselves first, their dreams first, and were able to accomplish what they wanted too for their whole lives. They accomplish their dreams at different times, and end up with different people, but they will always still remember the journey that helped get them there, including each other. I love that this shows that hollywood is a platform opportunity for  aspiring artists to pursue their dreams and with hard work, dedication, and occasionally some sacrifices, it can be done.  Everything happens for a reason, and no matter how many times you get knocked out, if it is really a dream you want to pursue you will always get back up.  This movie embodies  the story of artists, and how you should always follow your dreams.

Sydney Ho