Australian Council on Children and the Media

La La Land

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Short takes

Not recommended under 10; parental guidance recommended 10 to 13 due to coarse language and themes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for La La Land
  • a review of La La Land completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 December 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not recommended due to themes and coarse language
Children aged 10 to 13 Parental guidance recommended due to themes
Children aged 13 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: La La Land
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Coarse language
Length 128 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress working as a barista in a Hollywood café. She runs into jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) a few times, with disastrous consequences, but one day at a party they hit it off. They encourage each other to succeed in the difficult industry of show business. They dream of starting up a jazz club that Sebastian could manage and where he could play his music, but in the meantime he joins a rock band which becomes very successful.

Mia’s career is slower to take off. With Sebastian’s encouragement, she puts on a one-woman show, which she thinks is a flop. She is noticed however, by a talent spotter and is finally offered a part in a movie. Success, however, has a detrimental effect on their relationship and things don’t work out as expected.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Show business; success and failure

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Mia and Sebastian fight verbally and Mia hits Sebastian.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There is nothing likely to scare children in this age group

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

There is nothing likely to scare children in this age group

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • KORG KRONOS keyboard, Sony and Apple products.

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Mia and Sebastian kiss and end up in bed together but nothing is shown.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • social drinking at various venues throughout the movie

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • holy shit
  • Oh my God
  • bastards
  • arsehole
  • fuck
  • Goddamn
  • bloody

In a nutshell

La La Land is a romantic musical, reminiscent of old Hollywood movies but set in modern Los Angeles. It is quite unique in that it provides serious drama but with a lot of singing and dancing which is quite uplifting. The story of love gained and lost, and failure and success, is quite in-depth and more suited therefore to teens and adults, although younger children may enjoy the singing and dancing. Parents may be concerned about the coarse language in the film.

The main messages from this movie are the stark contrast between the fantasy and reality of Hollywood and that the price of fame and stardom often comes with the loss of personal happiness.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • determination
  • resilience
  • being supportive
  • perseverance
  • following your dreams      

Parents may also wish to discuss how following your dreams often means leaving others behind.

 

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