Lola (Greta Gerwig) is on the verge of two life-changing events: turning 30 and getting engaged. Only one of them turns out to be a sure thing.[Review contains spoilers.]
Lola Versus is a cute and somewhat unique concept. The story follows Lola through the arc of becoming betrothed to her longtime boyfriend, the perfect-seeming Luke (Joel Kinnaman), through the sudden dissolution of her relationship, and to the ways she finally puts herself back together again. The movie is interesting, in that it’s not a typical rom-com – the girl does not get the guy, but only because it turns out she doesn’t really want the guy after all. It’s nice to have a twist on the usual happy ending. My only issue? The film is just so dang boring.
Let’s get engaged! Psych.
I have to admit that my biggest problem is with the lead actress. Greta Gerwig is simply not my cup of tea. (It doesn’t help that she costarred in that unforgivable Arthur remake.) She’s the girl-next-door who can’t make the leap to Hollywood star – in short she’s simply not compelling. She’s the embodiment of beige. Sure, it goes with everything, but it’s nobodies first pick on the color wheel. While I don’t find her offensive, I certainly don’t find myself rooting for her – and that’s a huge problem for a lead actor who’s expected to carry the plot.
Stop trying to make Greta Gerwig happen. She’s not going to happen.
I applaud the ambitious and accomplished Zoe Lister-Jones – she not only costars as Lola’s (funnier and more captivating) best friend, Alice, she also co-wrote the script with director (and real life boyfriend) Daryl Wein. They’re both deft at capturing the Brooklyn hipster experience of romance (that’s a compliment, not a slam) – but, like their peer Lena Dunham, the reference comes off as a bit navel-gazing. Which bounces me back to Gerwig – perhaps the story would’ve resonated in the hands of another actress, but Gerwig’s take on the role comes off as weak, whiny and wimpy. And it’s not the fault of the script, given how Zoe makes Alice’s lines pop. I wanted Alice to be my new best friend; meanwhile Lola had me rolling my eyes in frustration. Yes, her character’s reaction to a breakup was real – perhaps a little too real. A life lesson isn’t necessarily compelling viewing. I signed on to watch a comedy, not a documentary.
I wish the movie was as funny and endearing as this video. Zoe and Daryl so need to be my besties – if they can forgive me for this review.
Again, kudos to the writer and director for going in a bold direction with the ending – but does the last line really have to be, “I’m just gonna do me”? Kids, leave that at the Jersey Shore for Sammi and Ronnie (apparently pronounced Raaaw-knee), please!
Gosh dang it, I really wanted to like this movie. Let me know when they remake it with Jennifer Lawrence.
Take a Drink: every time Lola binge-eats while navigating her breakup.
Take a Drink: every time Lola does something selfish.
Take a Drink: every time Alice does something cool (like giving her pal pot candy).
Take a Drink: every time you root for a character other than Lola.