Parents' Guide to

La La Land

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Profound, beautiful film about love and creativity.

Movie PG-13 2016 126 minutes
La La Land Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 42 parent reviews

age 2+

This is one of the accurate reviews on Damien Chazelle's masterful film.

It is not okay for parents to disallow their children to see this movie because it has language in it. The language is not pervasive nor present for a vast majority of the movie and focuses on themes of pursuing a dream, having relationships, and why the relationships end between characters with great chemistry. There is a great score, great acting, and a great story in this movie. Anyone qualified to understand movies, which could be a child at age 8 or 10 would love this movie. There isn't one person who kinda likes this movie and understands it. Everyone who cares about the story loves it. Take your kids to see this movie.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
3 people found this helpful.
age 15+
commenting on another review by Jeremy Landes: This is a great review! Thank you, Jeremy, for the La La Land synopsis and the recognition of its ability to bring the old Hollywood musical aesthetic back to life! As someone who is a fan of old musicals, in particular, Singing in the Rain, I was quite excited for the release of this film. For any musical lover, old movie fanatic, or rom-com enthusiast this movie is a new classic that combines these three categories into one. I appreciate your take on it, calling it an “attempt to breathe fresh life into the genre.” Do you think La La Land provides the same sensations of the old-school musicals? It seems to me that La La Land shows more of a sadder, yet accurate view of life, whereas others provide a more blissful story ending with a long awaited profession of love. The movie is developed in a way in a way that emits a nostalgic and reminiscent feel, and just like you said, the music can keep the toes tapping. There is something about the “glorious artificiality” as you called it, that makes the movie extra special. You expressed it perfectly when you described the movie as having an old-school musical vibe that tells a more modern story. It tells a story that resonates with viewers in this day and age (motivate by and relevant to experience), and makes watchers feel something they can relate to. I appreciate your advisory to the parents of teens. I especially admire that you brought up the issue of living together before marriage. While the movie does not have any sexual scenes, the couple obviously live and sleep together throughout the film, while they are not married. This is important for parents to make known to their children. A balance between the movie and what our morals in life should be kept in mind. Like you said, “the movie does not uncover great new insights about relationships,” would you say though that this movie shows a more realistic relationship as many movies seemly just show exemplary ones? I appreciate your take on this modern love story, because it does show the highs and lows of such a deep love. The movie shows a certain truth of relationships that other movies do not. It is almost more realistic. Additionally, this movie does give a sense of familiarity for anyone in relationship who chose a profession or dream over a relationship. While the two do not end up together, would you agree that this movie shows quite a dignity to the human person? I see this when both the couple meet in the final scene; they are greeted with a familiar face, and fond memories: no bad blood from their previous break up, simply an appreciation for the role they played in each other’s stories. While this movie does show a realistic relationship, it is an inspiring story that shows humble beginnings and hard work may lead to the redemption of dreams. I admit, the first time I watched this movie, I was so underwhelmed with the ending. As a hopeless romantic I was at a loss for words! Yet, you are right it may be considered as a favorite movie for some. Despite the ending, it leaves viewers upbeat with a positive attitude. Perhaps they will even find themselves humming to the soundtrack. However, I do appreciate your honesty when mentioning the songs. I completely agree; there was no show stopping song like “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl. The jazz score, however, was impeccable and made the touching scenes more meaningful. The soulful jazz, and the passion the character Sebastian feels for it, as well as the drive that Mia has for her work is inspiring and the touching and sensational instrumental music alone can leave a viewer longing to watch it again. Personally, I wish the outcome of the movie was different, but I did love how the creators of the movie added a scene of what could have been if the two stayed together. That produced some closure. Do you think the ending was effective by showing a more realistic love story, or do you think it would have been better if the two ended up together? Something that annoys me a little about the ending is that it hints that one cannot love the person they want and achieve dreams… would you agree? It is definitely a realistic movie, which I am sure many can relate to! However, there is something about a movie that makes you smile ear to ear, one that allows you to escape reality. I guess all movies cannot be dream-like though! Thank you, Jeremy, for the delightful review, and for the realistic ratings. This review is brief but accurate. I love how you used strong adjectives to bring the color of the movie to life. I appreciate your honesty and both about the songs and the parental guidance. However, I would love to hear your take on the actors and their performances. I think they did a really effective job! If I had not already seen the movie, I would be convinced to watch it! check out Jeremy's review here:
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (42 ):
Kids say (156 ):

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.

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