I’ve mentioned before how big a fan I am of musicals and Whiplash definitely has elements of a musical (it even won the Oscar for Sound Mixing), but it’s not like J.K. Simmons’ character was singing his insults to Miles Teller’s character. Although, now that that thought is in my head, I would pay all the money to see a musical version of Whiplash, featuring the show-stopping ballad “Why Do You Suppose I Just Hurled a Chair at Your Head?”
Anyway, besides making the yellow M&M terrifying, Whiplash is a film where everything just works for me, like this year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane (which Chazelle also wrote). Add to the fact that La La Land stars perennial crushes Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and my ticket is already bought.
Gosling and Stone are no strangers to playing lovers, appearing in 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love and 2013’s Gangster Squad. The former was a fairly amusing romcom (like a less pretentious episode of How I Met Your Mother when Ted isn’t being the literal worst) while the latter was legitimately surprising in its dullness, despite a poster promising me tiny people setting fires to a giant Sean Penn, Emma Stone’s bare left leg and an alien that’s impersonating Gosling who’s also just learning how to render human flesh.
Whatever flaws those films may have, Gosling and Stone are perfect together in both. Their charisma, talent and drop-dead good looks coalesce into an extremely potent chemistry. At the end of each film I was left wondering if anyone would ever look at me the way Gosling looks at Stone.
But some of you may be wondering, Can they sing?
Never mind the fact that we heard Gosling sing “goofy” in Blue Valentine, a film that makes you feel like you’ve been gored in the heart by a meth-addled bull trying to escape a vasectomy. Never mind that he’s the singer, pianist, guitarist and bassist for a band called Dead Man’s Bones. All Gosling has to do in La La Land is show up in a great suit and I’ll be swooning. Singing will just be an added bonus.
So, yeah. They can sing.
And it’s not like Chazelle is unfamiliar with musicals, either. If you can’t wait for the December 16 release of La La Land, you can check out Chazelle’s first film, the black and white mumblecore indie musical Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench.
With impromptu musical numbers in restaurants that wouldn’t feel out of place in a French New Wave film, Guy and Madeline has a lot of indie charm. I first saw it after watching Whiplash and it really shows Chazelle’s growth as a director and it makes me even more excited for La La Land.
At the very least, it can’t be worse than that one time Burt Reynolds was in a musical.
Call your girlfriend:Check out Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench
Ross works as a Clerk at the Mt. Washington branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He loves reading books and watching movies and will often ramble about the two here.