There are people who may dismiss Lola Versus
as girly fluff that's too over-the-top or dramatic to have any basis in reality. And though no one woman may have experienced all Lola does in one year, they will certainly identify with at least one of the incidents that turn her life upside-down. Lola Versus
is a smart comedy propelled by the chemistry of two entertaining actors.
Lola (Greta Gerwig) is happy. She's working on her PhD on a subject she is passionate about and blissfully planning her wedding to the man she loves. Astrologists predicted that this perfect existence would fall to ruins after her 29th birthday - they weren't wrong. Lola's tolerance for adversity is tested repeatedly over the course of that year as other people upset the balance in her life and she makes her own questionable choices. Relationships are strained, bonds are broken and repaired, and Lola sometimes drinks to drown her sorrow - but it's all very amusing.
Gerwig and Hamish Linklater are wonderful together. They feed off of each other's energy, naturally sharing jokes like real-life best friends. He's got that boy next door quality that makes him endlessly charming and sweet. She's eccentric in a way that makes her more interesting than weird, and avoids being pitiful at even her lowest moments. As the third point of their little triangle, Joel Kinnaman is just attractive enough to make powerlessly lusting after him believable, but not inevitable.
The title refers to the main character Lola being in constant conflict with just about everything: love, sex, the world and inescapably herself. When life gives Lola lemons, she doesn’t so much make lemonade as she sucks on the raw fruit only making matters worse. Her decisions regarding men are misinformed at best as she rebounds from one ill-conceived bed to another while attempting to sort out her feelings for each of her bedmates. Becoming wholly self-involved, she eventually alienates her friends. Her parents (Debra Winger and Bill Pullman) live a very liberal lifestyle, making their advice less than helpful in most situations – where Lola requires self-reflection, they prescribe a party.
Even though it wavers at the end, Lola Versus
is a solid chick flick that isn’t too melodramatic and remains funny almost all the way through.
Director: Daryl Wein
Starring: Greta Gerwig
, Joel Kinnaman
and Hamish Linklater