Date Night In: La La Land

27th May 17 | Entertainment News

La La Land has danced it's way onto home video, but can it hold on to centre stage

La La Land has danced it's way onto home video, but can it hold on to centre stage?

Richard Waters (@richmwaters

Set in Hollywood, La La Land casts an eye at the ups and downs of those aspiring folks entrenched in the fantastical lands of film and music. Following the blooming relationship between aspiring actor (Emma Stone) and musician (Ryan Gosling), it's Fred Astaire magic meets 'be careful what you wish for' caution, punctuated by elaborate song and dance numbers, eye-popping colours, and golden age of Hollywood style throwback.

The film near swept the Oscars (except for that little did it/didn't it business between Moonlight and itself for Best Picture), and it's easy to see why it was among the best of the year. Opening with a large-scale musical number featuring dozens of dancers stuck in traffic, La La Land doesn't shy away from being a spectacle and hearkening back to a more classical age of cinema will tickle the feelgood bone of most viewers, not just those into musicals, and has an earbuggy soundtrack that will stay with you for days.

But it's the more intimate (though streamlined) side of the film that keeps a viewer engaged. Stone and Gosling are solid performers as always, with the pressures of two struggling artists in a relationship being the emotional core of the film. The issues they go through as one achieves more success than the other and the struggle that brings is relatable to any relationship. Stone, in particular, will break your heart during a heavy dinner scene.

An easy film to get swept up in, the La La Land experience is only dampened by the limitations of it's leads to sing and dance. Stone/Gosling, though impressive, can't hold a candle to the mesmerising routines of classics like Singing In The Rain, and the bloated running time of the overall film wains the attention on occasion.

But frankly, as a throwback, the film is fun, and though the Oscar buzz might have brought out the harshest of critics, La La Land delivers an engaging and bright distraction from a sometimes too dark and heavy Hollywood.

La La Land is available in stores and online now.