Lola Versus: Sex, Love, Lola, the World (2012)

Posted: April 13, 2013 in Comedy

lola-versus-posterEnamored by her artist boyfriend, Lola is in a place where she truly feels happy and complete. Add to her joy and excitement a proposal and pending wedding, it seems as though nothing could bring her off of her cloud…except a completely unexpected breakup. Devastated by the shocking news, Lola struggles first the get herself out of her apartment and even allow herself to make any sort of connection with Luke. Focusing on the support of her friends and parents, she is able to get out of the apartment, continue her work on her dissertation and even engage in a little dating. The next several months become a mess of moments of loss, drunk mistakes, reliance on her friends for attention and short bursts of clarity. Slipping into some bad patterns and behaviors, it takes some serious mistakes to put her on the path to find herself and decide what is best for her to recoup her path in life.

Starring: Greta Gerwig (Lola), Joel Kinnaman (Luke), Zoe Lister Jones (Alice), Hamish Linklater (Henry), Bill Pullman (Lenny), Debra Winger (Robin), Maria Dizzia (Subletter), Jay Pharoah (Randy), Cheyenne Jackson (Roger), Parisa Fitz-Henley (Peggy), Victor Cruz (Bodega Owner), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Nick)

Generally out of sorts and self conscious, Greta Gerwig represents a woman who struggles to know what she really wants in life. She explores a range of emotions as she navigates her friendships and ex-fiance. Serving as a point of conflict, Kinnaman seems in constant conflict with figuring out what he wants. Also serving as one of the film’s main writers, Jones is a rather fun element of the cast. She has her own brand of comedy with an ever-changing artistic personality. Linklater takes on his first film role and seems to have a potential movie career, but only as a supporting character due to his inability to carry a scene by himself.

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Daryl Wein’s film explores the challenges with defining oneself based on their relationships. Lola was so focused on her life in her relationship with Luke that she was completely devastated when he decided to break off the engagement. He got spooked when the whole experience started to feel more real, but it left Lola in a place where she could not quite let go and move on. Focusing heavily on her friendship with Henry on complicated the situation as she began to juggle her growing feelings for him with the residual feelings for Luke and the awkward relationship with Nick. As the love triangle become more and more complicated, Lola fell deeper into feelings of dependence and caused her to at least temporarily damage her close relationships.

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The film’s main message is that a person must feel confident in who they are before they commit to someone else. Lola started with the attachment to Nick, lost it, struggled to get it back and only finally got to the end with the decision to focus on herself. Her final scene also shows a sense of the loss of self in the way she no longer appears to be happy about trying to focus more on herself. She is sitting alone in her apartment struggling with the fact that she is finally and truly alone for the first time and not sure of what to do with herself. The director and writers are trying to get people to think about how they define themselves and recommend that each person must figure out how to figure themselves out in the context of the people in their world.

Though a rather entertaining film, Lola Versus struggles to find some consistency and make sense of a woman struggling to find herself. Lola seems to be missing a sense of direction that sometimes borders on misunderstood while getting redeemed by the humorous performance of Jones.

Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5


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