“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

OK, it’s dark outside, dark all over the world, the kind of darkness that smokes up the windows in the soul and brings on serial weeping in the streets. Watch out; I’m gonna get gushy.

The Hollywood freeway in a traffic jam — miles of cars jammed up. The camera pans past cars where people are listening to their own kind of music on laptops and cellphones and radios, and then …

Suddenly, young dancers leap from their cars and dance on car tops, railings and the freeway itself.

A van opens up to reveal a Jamaican band, and in front of our eyes, hundreds of millenials are flying, floating through the air, tap dancing on the hoods of cars.

It’s a virtual happening of happiness in multi-colored joy.

It is so engaging, so captivating, that the audience I saw it with broke out in applause and laughter. When’s the last time you saw that?

I risk nothing in suggesting that filmmaker writer/director Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” is probably the best movie of the year, and I’m putting real money on it because “La La Land” is about love and heartbreak in technicolor, love and romance the way Hollywood used to do it, and in this, the darkest political times since the Great Depression, it’s a much needed root beer float with whipped cream and lots of cherries.

Who knows, it might bring back dish night.

Remember Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron dancing by the Seine in “American in Paris?” or Kelly and Debbie Reynolds on the sound stage in “Singing in the Rain?”

Well, this time we’re given Ryan Gosling, yes, Ryan Gosling, as a young jazz pianist who dreams of his own club where he can present “pure” jazz.

Add an amazing, mesmerizing Emma Stone as a wannabe actress working in the Warner Brother’s gift shop.

Yes, they meet “cute” on the freeway after the big number, as Emma gives him the finger for obnoxious honking.

But of course they meet again, as Ryan is fired from his piano gig in a swank club on Christmas Eve, because he won’t play “Jingle Bells.”

They meet again after a party atop Mullholland Drive, and walk away in the purple dusk straight into a Fred and Ginger soft shoe/ballet number, “A Lovely Night,” that will light your heart on fire.

What makes this and all their numbers together so charming is that they’re not Fred and Ginger, or Gene and Leslie; they’re just a young couple trying not to fall in love.

And that’s all I’m going to give you, because this is a see-it-to-believe-it experience.

“La La Land,” despite it’s goofy title, is an “American In Paris,” “Funny Face” and “Singing in the Rain” for the iPhone generation, without the faux Facebook hipness. Trust me, it’s January; you need this.

This is a musical with its share of heartbreak and hope, passion in pastels, a perfectly cast pas de deux for the books.

Gosling, (“The Big Short” and “Drive”) better known for young, wise-cracking hipsters, actually plays the piano.

The superb Stone, (“The Amazing Spider Man,” “Birdman”) will steal your heart away. With Bette Davis’ eyes and Myrna Loy’s wistfulness, she’s nothing less than mystical.

Damien Chazelle, who wrote and directed “Whiplash,” is a gifted director, and he brings in the inimitable J.K. Simmons, throwing some sparks into the mix.

Young hearts will welcome rock star John Legend as a key player.

John Hurwitz wrote all the songs, simple and sweet for the two stars, and a wondrous cinematographer Linus Sandgren (“Joy” and “American Hustle”) has just electrified his career with a rich display of radiance. You’ll be impressed.

“La La Land’s” Mary Zophres, who makes it all happen with her stunning, hip and colorful costumes, must have seen every Vincente Minnelli musical.

Once “La La Land” opens this week, the lines will break records. Trust me, I’m from La La Land, and I know a blockbuster when I see one.

J.P. Devine is a former stage and screen actor.


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