I'm not usually a fan of musicals, and should probably say that my review of any musical is thus untrustworthy ... and yet I really liked this one. To my considerable surprise.
They opened big, with a number that's probably going to haunt L.A. and make it proud for years to come: it's set on a gridlocked highway on ramp. It's colourful, outrageous, well presented, and a good song. As this winds down, we see our two stars: Mia Dolan (Emma Stone), a barrista and aspiring actress, and Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling) a dedicated jazz pianist who wants to run a jazz bar.
It takes a while for them to connect, but they keep running into each other ... which, despite their initial disinterest, often leads to dancing and singing. Both of them did their own singing: I wasn't a huge fan of either of their singing voices. Not that they were bad, and I appreciate and prefer it this way anyway. And Gosling learned enough piano to apparently play everything himself - that's seriously impressive. Too colourful by half: sometimes it served the movie well, other times they were dyeing their actor's faces unflattering colours with floodlights (green? really?) in pursuit of vibrant colour excitement.
This is the third movie ("Crazy, Stupid, Love," and "Gangster Squad") Stone and Gosling have starred in together, and the director in one of the extras on the DVD was happy to compare them to Bogart and Bacall. Certainly, they have a great chemistry and are a joy to watch together.
Again - not a fan of musicals and yet really enjoyed this one.