LA LA LAND
Damien Chazelle, 2016
Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) meet for a little dance.
Mia, a wannabe actress, and Sebastian, a wannabe jazzman, are both stuck in LA traffic. They kindly insult each other. They meet again in a piano bar where Sebastian gets fired for being unconventional. Mia gets a crush but he doesn’t notice her. He will later, at a party.
It’s pretty strange that we keep running into each other.
Maybe it means something?
Their story begins. They live the life. Then Sebastian moves away from Mia because of his job while she struggles with her auditions. Even a lovely dinner becomes an opportunity to argue. Tired of fighting, the couple eventually agrees to separate. Before leaving, Sebastian pushes Mia to a last audition that will kickstart her career.
They follow their paths. Five years later, they lost touch. She’s now famous, married and mother of one. He runs his own jazz bar. They will meet one more time, by chance, at Seb’s.
As he plays a song for her, both of them imagine how beautiful their life could have been. The song slowly ends. Mia has to go. They smile at each other. The music starts again.
La La Land is about melody.
The world around us is incredibly violent.
I’m letting life hit me until it gets tired. Then I’ll hit back.
We run, get stuck, insulted and we honk in return. Our ambitions constantly get frustrated. Mia is rejected from auditions in a way that makes her feel disrespected. Sebastian gets fired from jobs in a way that makes him feel unconsidered. They show how difficult it can be to find a place in this world. We feel out of shape or not in the know. We fail. Mia can play so many different emotions, she never gets the part. Sebastian is good but doesn’t live with his time, at least according to Keith (John Legend).
How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist?
We let ourselves be trapped. What if the world was more melodic than competitive? Then Mia and Sebastian would become a music album.
It would start with a crush. They are attracted in each other for a reason they ignore, but they share something in common :
People love what other people are passionate about.
They unconsciously need each other to grow. She has found her direction in life but lacks confidence. He has the confidence but no direction. They complete each other because they challenge and inspire one another.
Their dynamic leads them to make choices. Sebastian decides to follow Keith. Sometimes, those choices are bad. Sebastian let Keith take him away from Mia. He’s no longer there when she needs him. He’s mad at himself for doing something he doesn’t want. He’s mad at her because she’s not happy he’s making efforts. He believes that’s what she wanted. They misunderstand each other. That’s not the direction he wanted and she’s not getting the support she needed from him anymore. The relationship doesn’t flow anymore. Maybe this is just the end of their album?
Their melody was great because they brought each other so much. Mia made it to Hollywood and Sebastian opened up his own place where he plays the old school jazz that he likes so much. Even if it didn’t work out, they didn’t let their encounter destroy themselves. They didn’t get stuck in regrets. Instead, they celebrate their love.
And here’s to the fools who dream, Crazy as they may seem, Here’s to the hearts that break, Here’s to the mess we make.
They truly love each other because they both accepted themselves for who they are: passionate people who need to follow their path, even if it means those paths have to separate at some point. They could have had a wonderful life. It was not meant to be. They needed a closure. Maybe this nostalgic moment was the last song needed so the album could end, sad and beautiful at the same time.
In life, we keep meeting and separating. We find ourselves reasons, or excuses. We understand each other, then not. Until we lose each other for good. Sebastian and Mia have accepted this reality. They will be connected for ever. A song ended. Another begins. The music never stops.
Do we want to dance together or stay in the car? What’s the next song we would like to play? Who would we want to dance with?
This publication reflects the views only of the author.