La La Land

la_la_landThis delightful throwback to old cinematic times is a fresh breeze in an otherwise overly introspective world.

The beginning sequence is worth the price of the tickets. A crowded freeway in Los Angeles becomes the backdrop for a vigorous, rousing, athletic dance sequence that had everyone in the audience laughing uproariously. It certainly reminded us of Highway 27 in Long Island on a summer Friday when we actually got out of the car and walked around it a couple of times before we could move on.

Mia and Sebastian (Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling) are young, vulnerable, desperate to succeed and reeling from life’s consistent rejections. At first they reject each other, but slowly realize they are kindred spirits and take tentative steps towards falling in love. The exuberance of their courtship is enhanced by stylish Fred and Ginger dancing, floating into the stars at a planetarium, fantastic lighting and colors and a veracity of feelings that contemporary moviegoers will find refreshing. We have left the “Golden Age” of Hollywood behind, but not the innocence and simplicity of young love.

There are moments when I wished that Mia would have expressed her feelings more truthfully and… well, given the guy a chance. But there would be no friction or “frisson” in the plot. It ends somewhat surprisingly with some slightly confusing “flashbacks,” but that’s for the audience to discover.

We who have been married for over 43 years found the movie totally enchanting and… yes, romantic!

If you’re in that mood… you’ll have a ball!

Barbara Tober


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