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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Though some may use the word "dreamer" as a slur, don't let it get to you. Without dreams, we don't have achievements. Also: Love doesn't take a straightforward path; it often ends -- and begins -- in unexpected places. And it shows itself in many ways.
Positive Role Models
Mia is kind, authentic, and determined to achieve her dreams. Even in the face of failure, she finds a way to right herself and keep going. Sebastian is a caring person who's driven by a singular dream for himself. He's also happy to support Mia's goals. Together they share a passion for making their art and for being kind and giving to each other.
Violence & Scariness
Arguing; aggressive middle-finger gesture given in traffic jam.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing; a couple wakes up together in bed.
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Some use of words including "f--k" (once), "s--t," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," and "a--hole."
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Products & Purchases
A few glimpses of brands/products, including Sony, Korg, Toyota, Apple.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking by adults.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that La La Land is a beautiful, moving romantic musical set in modern-day Los Angeles, with the feel of old-time Hollywood. It stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and has plenty of frothy, whimsical moments, plus messages about integrity, love, and following your dreams. But it also tackles material that may be too heavy for younger viewers, including underemployment, feeling lost in the early years of your career, questioning your abilities, and fighting to stay in the moment while searching for your purpose. Expect some swearing (including one use of "f--k"), as well as social drinking, kissing, and characters waking up in bed together. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For a film that starts with a slightly campy musical number that could alienate viewers just as easily as charm them, this romance sure makes the leap to greatness quickly. Within minutes of that song, it's apparent how different La La Land is, starting wth Stone, who inhabits Mia so fully that even though she's a successful actress portraying a struggling one, we forget she's acting. Even when she breaks into song, it's rooted in a place so convincing that it almost makes sense she'd be communicating in melody. Her joy feels lke music; her sadness feels like a lament. Gosling is perhaps a little less striking, but not for lack of charm or authenticity; ultimately, he holds his own. And, paired together, they're the star-crossed lovers that a film like this richly deserves.
Beyond the chemistry of its stars and a brilliant score, La La Land has the one element that's essential to a nearly perfect movie: a script that manages to take a well-worn theme -- boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl discover that loving someone doesn't solve everything -- and make it feel new. And not just new, but also heartbreakingly wise (we can't say much more for fear of spoilers). La La Land is also an ode to Los Angeles; the city unfurls in all its Technicolor glory. Perhaps the look and feel are what bring out the melancholy in the film's story. You need light to find the darkness -- and the darkness to appreciate what's bright. La La Land will take your breath away and break your heart, even as it helps you find an even deeper capacity for love.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.