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La La Land : Loving, Losing, and Winning

Saturday, January 14, 2017Traveliztera

I didn't consider watching La La Land, and I don't know why I didn't because I am into musicals. I didn't see the trailer. I didn't even check what it was about because I have been really busy. Then a friend told me to watch it because she felt like she was watching my story. And then another one texted me and told me it has me written all over it. And then I was talking to another friend and she told me out of nowhere to please, please, please watch the movie. And then my bff, Cristina, texted me and asked if we could watch it.

So... we did. Her plane just landed yesterday and we decided spontaneously to just meet up in the city and watch the movie.

I was curious why my friends have been saying I would be able to relate. Then I found the following elements: musical, theatre, and reaching those dreams. I get it, I get it.

I might end up giving you clues as to how the story goes, so please don't read unless you are okay with spoilers.


It's a film that has catchy and touching song numbers in a setting that played with nostalgic and modern feels. It started with a happy song and ended with a heartbreaking one. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have soothing vocals, and their personalities just translated into their songs. I love musicals. I live musicals. I have always dreamt of being a musical theatre actress--which leads to...


Mia (Emma Stone) mentioned to Seb (Ryan Gosling) that when she was a kid, all she thought of were theatre and acting. It was her dream. She kept auditioning, until one day, she decided to make her own theatre play, and then she gave up when she felt that it failed. She was just like me when I was a kid. I made my own musicals at home. I then went on to write and direct a play when I was in highschool. Sang here and there. I saw myself in her. And my friends picked this up as well. They knew I was like Mia.

In the film, when Mia finished her play, she did not see Seb anywhere in the audience, because he became busy with the success of his career. This made it worse for Mia. Then Seb decided to look for her in another state, picked her up, and forced her to do an audition, wherein she got her dream that became a factor to their "almost perfect" romance. Seb was behind the big break she was able to get.


Music. Jazz. Hello??? For the record, I started liking jazz last year when someone made me listen to some jazz music, and I, too, had the same sentiments as Seb. Jazz was dying. 

Anyway, he was lost. Bills weren't getting paid. He lost his only job. He was getting gigs he did not like. And then he met Mia, who made him happier and more inspired to work on his dream. He found himself again. He pursued her wherever she was.

He made her love jazz, even though she hated it at first. And then he finally got an offer that made him big and successful. The offer, however, was something that offended Seb and his passion for jazz. It was not real jazz for him. This also caused a conflict between him and Mia. This was symbolised when Mia was in the crowd, watching Seb, and she was getting pushed back, away from the stage, away from Seb. 

Mia knew what his real dream was, and that was to open up his JAZZ CAFE and play real jazz. She even made a logo for his future cafe.


Again, I did not read nor browse anything about La La Land. I had no idea what it was about. All I knew was that it was a love story. 

Almost 90% of the film was built around getting Mia and Seb together, while they both worked on their dreams. 

It started with so many accidental meetings. 

It's as if they were meant to be. They thought they were. They were really happy. 

And then the conflicts started to happen as they both tried to reach their dreams. They both had to let each other go. It was a hazy breakup because they loved each other, but their dreams were getting in the way. Despite this, they reassured each other that no matter what, they both loved and will love each other.

And as we reached the ending, the real beauty of the film got unveiled. This was a struggle between continuing what they thought was a destined love or pursuing the real dream. There was only one option. Something had to be sacrificed.

I agree with the majority's thought that it was sad seeing how their romance had to suffer and end, but it was good to see they finally turned their dreams into reality despite not being with each other. 

That last bit... 

5 years later...

Mia looked very successful as she walked into her huge house, greeting a man... a man who was not Seb. And to break your heart more, she walked in to a room to greet her child with this man.

Later on, as if fate decided to play with her again, she ended up at a bar/cafe with her husband. 

And there he was, the love of her life, about to play the piano. And then he saw her. He then welcomed everyone, specifically her, to his cafe called, "Seb's Cafe". And he was using the logo which Mia designed. 

Did I just hear an AWWW?

Then we see a "what could have been" sequence. It was a quick replay of the whole movie with different choices made. What if Seb kissed Mia when they first met? What if Seb was in the audience while Mia did her one-woman play? What if Seb gave up his dream of having a jazz cafe and ended up following Mia in Paris, while still playing jazz? It would have been him whom Mia was greeting at the end, alongside their child, and it would have been him sitting there in the audience with Mia, while watching someone else play the piano...

It was heartbreaking to see, especially when Mia was about to leave, and she took one last look at Seb, who looked back, and then they smiled, just like the time when they first saw each other.

My friend tried to save the ending by saying that that smile meant there was another chance for them-- that there's a sequel!

To be honest, for a film like this, I was like "Okay. THE END. Don't even try to save this! It's a question mark and it's up to the audience to think of what is going to happen next."  

I was happy it ended that way, especially seeing how the film tried their best to give us the impression that they were ending up together, or else it would have been one of those cliche love stories that would get resolved by still getting them back together.

It was as if Shakespeare wrote this scene. I like endings like this. I find it tragic, but beautiful.

Because for me, I think that smile meant a lot. It was a smile of success. Even though they did not end up being together, it was a smile of genuine love, gratefulness and happiness towards each other, that at least they were part of each other's journey in getting to that point of success. It was bittersweet.

Again, this was an ending I would have chosen to write anyway--if I did write a story like this. Not being tragic or anything, but it's all about sacrifices.

My feelings got jumbled because there were too many emotions involved in that last scene. This film really played with our emotions well. I can hear so many Awwws and Nos while watching this amazing work. You can hear some sniffing, and you can see some eyes watering.

Beautifully written... It has the Whiplash feels at times. Must be the jazz. Must be because it was the same director. But the imagination involved in making this film is worth admiring. I hope they win more awards! I think most of the time, both my hands were on my heart, saying my awwws. I can't wait to do it again when they win!

And by the way, did you notice how Mia would wear blue at times? For me, that has a deep meaning... I wonder if you were able to pick that up too?

Lastly, it's as if the universe is nudging me... I got invited to do a class at a theatre school just after watching this movie. Mia is my soulmate. Thanks Mia!

Here's my cover of "City of Stars" from the movie, "La La Land".

PHOTO CREDITS: Summit Entertainment

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