In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for La La Land, we provide recommendations for movies with similar themes and vibes.
- Ryan Gosling – Sebastian “Seb” Wilder
- Emma Stone – Amelia “Mia” Dolan
- John Legend – Keith
- J. K. Simmons – Bill
- Rosemarie DeWitt – Laura Wilder
- Finn Wittrock – Greg
- Callie Hernandez – Tracy
- Sonoya Mizuno – Caitlin
- Jessica Rothe – Alexis
- Tom Everett Scott – David
- Damien Chazelle – Writer and director
Movies like La La Land
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, this classic musical stars Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor. The film is set during the transition from silent films to talkies in Hollywood. The story revolves around a famous actor, Don Lockwood (Kelly), and a young aspiring actress, Kathy Selden (Reynolds), who fall in love. Singin’ in the Rain shares a similar nostalgic Hollywood setting as La La Land and showcases amazing song and dance sequences, making it an essential watch for fans of the genre. Additionally, the film’s themes of ambition and love will resonate with La La Land admirers.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
Directed by Jacques Demy and starring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo, this French musical tells the tale of a young couple, Geneviève (Deneuve) and Guy (Castelnuovo), who are forced apart by war and circumstance. The film’s unique use of sung dialogue and its bittersweet love story will remind viewers of La La Land. Its vibrant color palette and romantic atmosphere make it a must-watch for fans of Damien Chazelle’s film.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Directed by Baz Luhrmann, this extravagant musical stars Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor as Satine, a cabaret actress, and Christian, a penniless writer. Set in the bohemian world of 19th-century Paris, the film features stunning visuals and modern pop songs reimagined as show tunes. Like La La Land, Moulin Rouge! is a love story that celebrates the transformative power of art and creativity.
Directed by John Carney, this low-budget Irish musical film stars Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová as two struggling musicians who form a unique bond over their shared love of music. The film’s raw, authentic performances and its focus on the power of music to connect people make it a great choice for fans of La La Land. The Oscar-winning song “Falling Slowly” is a standout track that will tug at your heartstrings.
An American in Paris (1951)
Directed by Vincente Minnelli, this classic musical stars Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. The film tells the story of an American soldier, Jerry Mulligan (Kelly), who moves to Paris after World War II to become a painter. There, he falls in love with a French girl named Lise (Caron). The film’s romantic setting, impressive dance sequences, and memorable Gershwin score will appeal to La La Land fans.
Directed by Rob Marshall, this Academy Award-winning musical film adaptation stars Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere. Chicago follows the story of Roxie Hart (Zellweger) and Velma Kelly (Zeta-Jones), two women accused of murder, as they use their newfound fame to their advantage. Chicago is a dazzling and visually spectacular film, showcasing the darker side of fame and ambition, which will resonate with La La Land enthusiasts.
A Star Is Born (2018)
Directed by Bradley Cooper, this romantic musical drama stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The film follows the story of a seasoned musician, Jackson Maine (Cooper), who discovers and falls in love with a struggling artist, Ally (Gaga). As Ally’s career takes off, their relationship is tested by Jackson’s inner demons.
The Greatest Showman (2017)
Directed by Michael Gracey, this musical biopic stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, and Zendaya. The film tells the story of P.T. Barnum (Jackman) and his creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The movie’s stunning visuals, catchy songs, and themes of ambition, dreams, and the importance of staying true to oneself make it an excellent choice for fans of La La Land.
West Side Story (1961)
Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, this classic musical is a modernized retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris, the film is set in New York City and revolves around two rival gangs and a forbidden love affair between Tony (Beymer) and Maria (Wood). With its timeless love story, memorable music by Leonard Bernstein, and outstanding choreography, West Side Story is a must-watch for fans of La La Land.
New York, New York (1977)
Directed by Martin Scorsese, this musical drama stars Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro as Francine and Jimmy, a singer and a saxophonist who meet and fall in love in post-World War II New York City. As they struggle to balance their personal lives with their artistic aspirations, their tumultuous relationship takes center stage. The film’s exploration of ambition, love, and the sacrifices made for success will resonate with La La Land fans, while its evocative jazz soundtrack and Scorsese’s unique directorial style make it a fascinating watch.
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