Lola Versus Reviews
Second viewing update 13/11/2014
I liked this so much more this time around. I have upgraded another star. I think initially I expected a rom com and when it didn't turn out to be exactly that, I felt a bit disappointed.
This is a story about growing up and realizing what you need and what you don't, and learning by making mistakes. It actually does have a nice final message about finding your own strength and not relying on a man.
The movie is full of the usual indie cliches, the kooky friend, the whacky liberal parents, the artistic nice guy and the hunky bad boy. The irony is that Kinnaman is portrayed as the villain of the piece yet comes across as the only remotely down to earth character. He has a maturity and a self-realization that none of the others possess. Despite being on the brink of their thirties, they treat life as if they are still in their teens. The whole thing reminds me of that nineties TV show "Felicity". Gerwig and her irritatingly quirky best friend Jones seem to think the world revolves around their orgasms, or lack of.
I suspect female viewers will find it hard to sympathize with Lola. After all she's an attractive and seemingly financially stable young woman who gets hit on by men on a regular basis. It's a bit like a female variation on "The Brothers MacMullen", a movie where three hunky brothers faced the earth-shattering dilemma of which of their various hot girlfriends to stick with.
There are times you'll just want to give Lola a good shaking. At one point she agrees to have dinner with a guy who is clearly a couple of futons short of a Greenwich loft. She then unbelievably allows him to penetrate her without a condom. Maybe Julian Assange was a technical advisor? Lola is an idiot who gets everything she deserves and a terrible role model for young women. The movie should be retitled "Lola Versus the Audience".
Like its heroine, "Lola Versus" is a likable mess with some nice moments. To be honest, there really is not that much of a story, just a series of episodes that try too hard to be funny which only serve to put it on the level of a second rate sitcom at times.(Like, who would put on an Ani DiFranco song during sex? And it's a guy!) It's a shame because there really is something here about a woman who is on her own emotionally for the first time in her life and forced to make decisions like what to do with all of her free time. Plus, Daryl Wein again shows his affinity for New York City in the locations he uses, especially probably being the first director to make use of the High Line cinematically. And where have you been, Debra Winger?
I think this could have been better if they developed everyone a bit more. Or something. Celeste and Jesse Forever kind of dealt with similar themes and I thought it was much better than this.
A tiny bit better than your average romantic comedy.
Lola Versus, I give you a 60%.
Some good one-liners here and there, but over-all so focused on the self involved Lola that you develop little to no attachment to other characters in the movie...except maybe her best friend that conveniently pops up when you're about to forget about her. Oh, yeah, that's because the best friend is also the screenwriter for the film. How convenient.
What do I know? I'm a guy and wanted some explosions.