Third Time’s the Charm for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone Reuniting on Musical La La Land

By  · Published on April 15th, 2015

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

As far as collaborative reunions go, La La Land was going to be a great one, bringing back the actor/director team of Miles Teller and Damien Chazelle. Whiplash couldn’t contain the energy that they produced together, and so a shared follow-up seemed like it could be delicious leftovers at the very least, an even bigger burst of talent at best. Well, unfortunately Teller is reportedly off La La Land and Ryan Gosling is expected to take his place. Deadline reports that he and Emma Stone are in both talks for the movie, she replacing Emma Watson, and if that all comes together then we have another great re-teamed pair to look forward to.

Gosling and Stone first collaborated on Crazy, Stupid, Love, and in the words of our review by Kate Erbland, they have a “sizzling, real chemistry” in that 2011 comedy, “and the two of them share the most honest and charming sequence in the entire film.” They reunited two years later for Gangster Squad, and while our review from Rob Hunter notes that their subplot together “feels forced, dull and lacking even an inkling of the chemistry the two shared in Crazy, Stupid, Love,” that only made us wish for another chance, a better movie for them to shine in. Third time’s this musical, and hopefully it’s also, damn the cliche, the charm.

Under Chazelle’s direction and from his own script, Gosling would play a cocky but charismatic jazz pianist and Stone an aspiring actress who fall in love and then fall apart. The setting is modern day Los Angeles but with an old fashioned song-and-dance sensibility with a heavily romanticized locale (see Chazelle’s “lookbook” details here). The foundation sounds like another A Star is Born type movie, but perhaps one with bloodier hands knowing this filmmaker.

And now perhaps one with a pair who, along with Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, are giving us that old fashioned Tracy and Hepburn, Powell and Loy and Astaire and Rogers sort of Hollywood romantic consistency. Their reuniting for La La Land would actually suit its intentions very well, I think.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.