Prologue), Fiddler on the Roof (Tradition), Hairspray (Good Morning Baltimore) and Grease (Grease is the Word!). La La Land's opening number "Another Day of Sun" is filmed on the ramp between Highways 100 and 105 in Los Angeles and involves over 100 multi-coloured vehicles and brightly dressed singers, dancers and acrobats weaving in and out, over and on top of cars stalled in a traffic jam. The vibrant colour scheme is continued in several other joyous big musical numbers in terms of wardrobe, sets and background scenery. A melancholy air seeps into other parts of the movie, with a sombre colour palette achieved by filming around twilight.
Gosling also was tutored in playing jazz piano for over three months. The movie strikes a balance between showing the lonely, shallow, impersonal side of L.A. and Hollywood, contrasted against the wondrous magical side. The same can be said of the romance between Mia and Seb, which is portrayed in colourful montages and fantasy scenes of dancing in the stars when things are going well, but slips back to reality in darker, sober tones when problems arise. A final fantasy montage towards the end of the movie harks back to dream-like dance sequences in iconic musicals such as An American in Paris, Oklahoma and Carousel.
auditions, Mia sings "Here's to the ones who dream; foolish as they may seem; here's to the heart that aches, here's to the mess we make ...". Sebastian's song is even more devastating as he both croons and whistles "City of Stars, Are you shining just for me? ... Who knows, is this the start of something wonderful? Or one more dream that I cannot make true?" His sad, soulful voice makes your heart ache for him. This movie is a wonderful tribute to the magical musicals of days gone by, but one that also grounds itself in the reality of the current day. I hope it makes a new generation of people fall in love with musicals as I have.