Meet Lola, a pretty girl who thinks she’s getting married until her hot, emo boyfriend freaks out and dumps her. Lola devolves into one hot mess of a 20-something in this quirky indie film that tackles the hazards of love and friendship in Manhattan.
Ah, one’s 20s! A decade of bad decisions and likely the most sex a girl will ever have. Lola Versus is sort of a Sex in the City for the younger, more neurotic set with less sass and more self-discovery.
Post-dumpage, Lola (Greta Gerwig) is a raw, exposed nerve who does what any heart-hammered girl would do — eat. When food doesn’t help, Lola becomes a wee bit promiscuous, saying, “I’m slutty but I’m a good person.” Finally, a film character with my two favorite qualities!
Lola Versus is a sweet little film about a girl becoming a woman and viewing it curiously made me nostalgic for my own 20-something heartbreak. Not so much for the gut-wrenching pain of it, which Gerwig portrays with firm honesty and depth, but for the strength and clarity that came afterward, which Gerwig beautifully acts with neurotic sovereignty.
Lola Versus isn’t so much about a girl versus a man or the world, but a girl versus the woman she is to become. As women, we rebirth ourselves over and over and it is usually a painful, often hilarious, messy process. This film is all of that including bad sex with a fishy rollerblader who sports a particularly large body part.
Hamish Linklater (Battleship) plays Henry, Lola’s best friend who’s also best buds with her ex Luke, played by cute Swede Joel Kinnaman (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and things get complicated when Lola and Henry lock lips. But does Lola really want to hook up with her dear friend or is she just lonely, confused and, well, needy? Things get even more complicated when Lola’s girl BFF Alice (co-screenwriter Zoe Lister-Jones) starts dating Henry, leaving Lola with the fishy rollerblader which, clearly isn’t going to work.
Debra Winger and Bill Pullman play Lola’s loving, hippy-ish parents who try to give advice but can’t really pull Lola out of her spiral. At least she has a safe place to land, especially since all this coincides with her dissertation about the “communal deathly fear of silence.”
Bottom line: Lola Versus is a clever, warmly neurotic indie that portrays the sometimes-slutty life of a 20-something gal in the quirky, bougie world of Manhattan.
Photo credit: Fox Searchlight