City of Stars
I loved La La Land. It was a movie of love and passion and dreams crashing and coming true. The visuals, the songs, the acting and everything moved me. My favorite part of the film was the fantastic endlessly playable song, City of Stars.
The song is an ode to their relationship - both Sebastian and Mia smile at each other and sing in unison. The song is a celebration of their love, but I think its more than that. The song is as much about their love for each other as it is for their love for their craft. Mia loves acting, while Sebastian loves the piano. She just wants to be in the movies, and he just wants to be successful enough to open a true jazz bar. City of Stars, are you smiling just for me? is as much a cry of romantic love as it is about their life’s work. They are in joy at finding each other, and the song honors it, but it masterfully brings out their yearning to succeed professionally. It is romantic, yes, but for the city, the City of Stars, Los Angeles. Ultimately, it is a love song for L.A.
And that’s why it is both joyous and sad. While the song feels like it’s about love for a person, it is also about loving your art - particularly in the context of Mia and Sebastian who love their art so much they sacrifice their love for each other.
To me, the primary emotion in City of Stars is restless love, the kind of love that keeps you up, that makes you want to create good art. Mia and Sebastian both have the ability to create that art, and it wins over everything. And while they are lost in each other’s eyes, they look to their future and think, “City of Stars, are you smiling just for me?”