Exeter, Devon UK • Jun 15, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home ScreenScreen Features The Perfect Farewell Film – La La Land

The Perfect Farewell Film – La La Land

Print Lifestyle Editor, Lucy Rawlings, explores a reinvention of the romance musical that epitomises a great goodbye.
2 mins read
Written by
A couple embrace in front of a starry night (Wolverine_01 via Creative Commons)

I remember watching Damien Chazelle’s La La Land for the first time as a 14-year-old in my local cinema, and (despite sounding cliché) it really did change my perspective on life. Aside from the revitalisation of jazz music, and the technicolour whirlwind of Sebastian and Mia’s dreamy romance, it was sitting in the indigo screen light as the film came to a profound close, watching the two protagonists lock eyes for the last time, that I think about more often than I’d probably like to admit. 

Anyone who knows me well will know that La La Land has and always will be my top comfort film, particularly as I begin to navigate my own life path. The power of the movie’s ending is the core reason as to why it holds a sacred place on my list of ‘favourite things’. We return for a quiet, intimate moment between Mia and Sebastian, back to a starry, dark blue haze, where the audience are held in the tragic lingering of what could have been. The camera’s delicate sliding between the two gazes highlights the reality that not everything unfolds the way you thought it might. 

The film says goodbye to unrealistic, airy wonders found in most love stories, and sinks the musical genre into the non-linear, humbling qualities of the human experience.

The goodbye between them is the epitome of modern love. Some people are only meant to be a part of certain chapters in your life, and that can be a beautiful journey in itself. That is why I regard Chazelle’s La La Land as gold dust in the uprising of modern musicals: the film says goodbye to unrealistic, airy wonders found in most love stories, and sinks the musical genre into the non-linear, humbling qualities of the human experience. Not everything works out, we fall in and out of love, and, most importantly, it is ok to choose autonomy over another person. 

You can chase dreams that are not glazed in romance. Mia makes it as a celebrated Hollywood actress, and Sebastian is now a successful bar owner who has rescued jazz from the cusp of collapse. This concluding moment between them after years apart communicates that we are allowed to choose ourselves, and through this welcomes a new dimension to relationships – joy can be found in watching your person achieve their dreams, even if it means that they do not achieve you.

 It is this acceptance that makes these characters all the more real. In Chazelle portraying such realism, that is where the true magic of this film comes to light. He produces a resonating force of love that hits the spectators’ deepest parts of themselves, and that is why La La Land will forever be cinematic royalty in my eyes. 

You may also like

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign Up for Our Newsletter