The irresistible vein of its pop hooks.
The good-natured nod to its own traditions in terms of theme (boy meets girl, boy and girl chase dreams) and look and pace.
A slew of non-Hollywood allusions, to boot. Take them or leave them.
Virtuostic performances by Emma Stone, and Gosling's not bad either--a blend of Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant.
That opening number on the LA freeway. First you fear it's a Coke commercial, then WHAM!
Surprise, plenty available.
Courage and artistry to evoke potentially asphyxiating elements of story but develop them freshly.
The devotion to place. LA, obviously. Like everything else, this devotion is delivered cheerfully, with full knowledge of its own impossibility.
That the representation of jazz music isn't any more reductive than it already is.
Lorca would love it.