Is 'La La Land' A True Story? This Musical Romance Is Too Good To Be True
If life were a musical, would you be singing and dancing your heart out every chance you got, Les Misérables style? Or, would it be more of a High School Musical situation, with equal parts talking and singing? No matter what kind of musical you want to live in, I think we can all agree it would be made better by adding in a little Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. And it looks like La La Land writer-director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) felt the same way. In La La Land, Stone and Gosling star in a musical love story for the ages that seems too good to be true — and it is. La La Land is not a true story, as much as romance lovers might want to think it is.
At a press conference during the Venice Film Festival, via IndieWire, Chazelle described the film as "fantasy." And it's not hard to see why. Trailers featuring Stone and Gosling dancing around on a gorgeously vibrant Los Angeles landscape paint a decidedly romantic picture of reality. And that, of course, was Chazelle's intention — at that same press conference, he named Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as inspirations for the lovestruck characters shown in the film.
La La Land is pure Hollywood fantasy, but that doesn't mean it's not completely devoid of real life inspiration. In an interview with The Guardian, Chazelle admitted the film was a bit of a love letter to Los Angeles. "La La Land is about the city I live in, it's about the music that I grew up playing, it's about the movies that I grew up watching," Chazelle said. (Those movies, it should be noted, also came from Los Angeles.) At an AFI Fest Gala screening, Chazelle told reporters, via The Hollywood Reporter , "I tried to emphasize everything that makes L.A. unique — the sprawl of it, the foliage that doesn't make any sense next to each other and the traffic — even if they are the things that people complain about."
Chazelle didn't just want La La Land to feel truthful to Los Angeles, he also wanted the film to have very real, intimate moments. One of the most challenging and ongoing struggles he had making La La Land was balancing real emotions with fantastic musical numbers. "It's trying to have high moments of fantasy, as the genre allows you to do, like float up to the stars, and at the same time have as raw and intimate stuff between actors as you could," Chazele said in an interview with Variety .
Based on a true story or not, La La Land is, truthfully, a can't miss movie this winter.
Images: Summit Entertainment