In middle school, I joined chorus to hang out with my best friend, despite the fact that I had a terrible voice. That meant I spent the class period socializing — while also anxiously wondering if my teacher would notice I wasn't paying attention and yank me up to sing in front of the group as a form of punishment. I don't remember that ever actually happening, though I may have blacked it out from my memory.
More than learning I couldn't sing, middle school was also the era when I learned that I hate musicals. And while it is tempting to think that those two things are connected, I think it may have more to do with a low tolerance for cutesy song and dance than an inability to achieve a pitch-perfect high D.
Until recently, my list of approved musicals had been really short, as in only Moulin Rouge! But as of this month, I have another one I can tolerate, bringing my list of favorite movie musicals to a whole two films. La La Land stars Emma Stone as a Mia, a struggling actress searching for her first big break; Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian, a talented jazz pianist with dreams of owning his own club. Both live in the chaotic, energizing, and colorful city of Los Angeles, where their lives become intertwined in a whirlwind of song, dance, and soulful gazing at one another.
La La Land is a heartwarming, but not nauseating, story that will leave you feeling good when you walk out of the theater. But for those who need a little more convincing, I pin-pointed the five factors that made me fall in love with La La Land. If it met my bar, then I bet you'll love it, too.