Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling may not be fleet-footed enough to make the finals on “Dancing With the Stars,” but part of the joy of “La La Land” is watching them sing and dance, imperfections and all. Here are five other performances that demonstrate the power of charm and the element of surprise:
“Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942)
It’s hard to fathom just how far jaws dropped when The Public Enemy channeled George M. Cohan with delicate yet athletic grace in this flag-waving biopic of the Broadway baby.
“Guys and Dolls” (1955)
You can’t be called the greatest actor of your generation without at least one musical on your résumé. Brando doesn’t sing or dance very well in this gangster-lite classic, but watching him warble “Luck Be a Lady” is an offer we still can’t refuse.
“Pennies From Heaven” (1981)
Fans of Fatboy Slim already know the weird dude from “True Romance” is a hoofer, but to really see some fancy footwork, check out the way he “misbehaves” in this showstopper from Steve Martin’s Depression era musical.
Goldie Hawn’s daughter never quite lived up to the promise she showed in 2000’s “Almost Famous” — with the exception of “Cinema Italiano,” her hot-to-trot dance number in this otherwise excruciating film.
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
“500 Days of Summer” (2009)
Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland are reborn, but with more angst and sarcasm, in this sleeper hit that makes you want to put on a show despite its downbeat story.