I must say musicals aren't my favourite but I'll make an exception here. Simple story, great musical numbers and a good ending. The opening number comes out of no where and surprises you. It's set in an LA traffic jam which is very original.
A young woman (Mia played by Emma Stone) goes for an audition and fails. Her friends get her out on a night on the town and another musical number begins. She ends the night depressed because they towed her car away. She walks home and on her way she hears piano and walks into a piano bar where she see's a guy (Sebastion played by Ryan Gosling) that she told off in the traffic jam.
Then we see life from Sebastion's point of view after the traffic jam, he's a down and out jazz piano player. He just gets fired and snubs Mia as she tries to say hello.
Mia then goes to a house party and there is a band playing 80s music. Sebastion is there playing piano awkwardly. Mia requests a song and they play it. They end the night strolling during a purple night sky. A musical number begins that includes tap dancing. Brilliant. Sebastion visits her workplace. Sebastion says he works at "Samba Tapas". When Mia asks why they call it that he replies "because they play Samba and serve Tapas"... hahaha. What a great one liner.
I won't go into it more but the story is mainly about two lovers that follow their dreams at any cost.
"The sets in this movie are magnificent. From the night skies to the jazz clubs to the cafeterias and the houses/parties. Everything worked well"Emma Stone is a triple threat: she can act, she can dance and she can sing. Also, very few people can play that conflicted Jazz musician like Ryan Gosling did. You really feel his frustrations and his passion for his craft. John Legend does a great cameo as Sebastion's band leader.
The City of Stars track and Mia/Sebastion's theme song are very memorable. The whole soundtrack in general is very inspiring. They didn't over do the musical numbers and when they did come around they were wonderfully coreagraphed and added to the story telling. What a 128 minutes, enjoy.