La La Land (2016)

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La La Land (2016)

Words from the writer

Hey, whats up guys. Back again with another movie review. This time I’m talking about ‘La La Land’. Forewarning, this review does contain a lot of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen this film, or are planning to watch it, do that first! Then come back and read this review. I saw this movie at the Playa Vista Cinemark XD. That theater is probably the best theater in this area. They have leather reclining chairs, handcraft beer, martinis, and servers come in and check if you need anything during the movie. It’s really a cool experience.

So this movie is about Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) who are talent artist. They are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success starts to occur, they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

Image Credit: IMDB

Movie production

Release Date:

16 December 2016 (USA)


Damien Chazelle


Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Motion picture rating:

Rated PG-13 for some language

Image Credit: IMDB


All right let’s talk about ‘La La Land’. So, to start I was really excited to watch this movie. The opening scene is probably the best I’ve seen all year. As a matter of fact, this was the best movie I’ve seen all year. But I’ll get into that a little later.

The film is directed by Damien Chazelle. This is his second feature film. First being “Whiplash” (If you haven’t seen Whiplash, go watch it right now). Whiplash does have some similarities to “La La Land”. Some key points being the idea of jazz music, and the story unfolding over the seasons. I really can’t wait to see what this director can bring us next. Just with these two masterpiece films, I think that Damien Chazelle is a director to watch in the coming years.


The movie is a great balance of music, comedy, and drama. I found myself waiting for the songs to be slowly introduced, but they always came at a surprise. I really liked how this film’s musical aspect was always a surprise. I actually never could tell when a song was coming, and I think this is something that makes this musical stand apart from other musicals.

I knew I was going to like this film just from the intro scene. That is the best depiction of LA life. Being stuck in traffic on the freeway. So smart in relating to everyone here. The intense choreography that was done on the freeway was insane (Also, I’m not sure but I’m pretty sure they shot that on the 405 south exit to the 105 east).

Being someone who grew up in Los Angeles, this film is seriously one of the best LA films I’ve seen. We get to see some of the best Los Angeles architecture. You also see ‘The lighthouse’ (which is not a jazz club no more, more of a hip-hop electronic DJ kinda place Hermosa beach, along with the pier. From The streets of downtown to the Griffith Observatory. So much detail can be found in this film. I’m honestly sad that I didn’t have a chance to see this movie twice, I feel like there is so much to appreciate from the choreography to the cinematography. When showing LA in different view points like being a coffee barista in a Warner bros. movie backlot, shows the ambition and aspiration building in these talented artists. I think that this film Choosing LA was carefully planned out and is the basepoint for the whole film, in other words, with LA they have a very successful metaphorical film.

I like how the film was heavily influenced by old school type musicals and theater but had a modern spin on the drama. For example, they displayed this by showing things like the ‘Toyota Prius’ reference. Showing that everyone drives a Prius, in the modern times. Or when they are having the 80’s pool party in a house in the Hollywood hills. It’s a classic LA scenario done in a modern time. Even the tap dancing shows the creativity behind the modern connection.


Ok now for the bad. The one thing that I didn’t agree with was the misconception of Hollywood entertainment. I love LA and almost everything about it. I understand that the film and art industries are really hard to become successful in. I can understand how people can be offended about the whole ‘waiting in line for your chance’ ideology. Although I don’t like to see these things portrayed in Hollywood’s films, I understand that, honestly, that is what LA is about. I think the realism of becoming an actress or a jazz musician is almost impossible in LA and for this film a little troo dreamy.

Last words

If you watch any film this year, it has to be ‘La La Land’! OK guys, seriously, go watch the film and support the company. This movie should be playing near you at the time of this review. If the movie is already out of the movie theater, or if you’re like me and watch everything on your phone/tablet, be sure to check out the Google play movies. They have an awesome collection of movies and deals on a regular basis.

Don’t be a pirate and steal movies for no reason. Just support and watch art like a dignified person. Also if you live under a rock and haven’t seen the trailer yet, be sure to check out the movie trailer here. Like or hate the review I did? Have a question, comment, or concern? Let me know in the comment below. Don’t forget to also check out other movie reviews on The EXP Grind.

The Good

  • The movie is a great balance of music, comedy, and drama
  • The best opening scene I've seen all year
  • Modern spin on the classic musical drama

The Bad

  • Slight misconception of Hollywood entertainment
  • The realism of becoming an actress or a jazz musician is a and a miss.
  • A fantasy Los angeles that sadly doesn't exist.

Written by: Christian Galvez

Christian is the founder of The EXP Grind. He is interested in Indie musicians, Video Games, Anime, and just about anything in Arts and Entertainment. He tries to find art with true meaning in the new and upcoming artists and hopes to reach more creative professionals.

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