La La Land

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, talk-singing and walk-dancing through the light n’ lively score. Appealing, but I had to think twice about whether to put it on pause before I went to the bathroom or just let it run its predictable course. Best part was the lilting “City of Dreams.” Most tiresome: Stone’s stricken look, meant to convey resolve, sadness, disbelief. One look, many meanings. Second most tiresome: Stone’s dresses, which look like the kind of thing you’d wear to a high-school dance that isn’t quite a prom—knee-length, highly-colored, cap-sleeved, A-line. But the movie was a fitting choice for the flight to California—much better than “Swimming,” a dark novel about a family traumatized by the death of one of the sons, who bashed his head on the rock ledges around their freezing New Hampshire pond.

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