Lola Versus (2012) Poster


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Lola Versus Bad Ratings
EL13 September 2012
A 4.6 rating average? Why? What was so bad about this movie? I read the other reviews to see whether there was something I missed... Nope. Some of the other reviewers don't even have the characters' names straight. And I concluded that most of them didn't get the movie at all. I sincerely hope they didn't get it because they've never been through anything similar. So I decided to write a review of my own, and praise this highly underrated movie.

Lola is at a high-point in her life. She lives in New York City, she is working on her PhD thesis, and she is about to marry her dreamy-looking boyfriend of years. If it seems too good to be true it probably is. When the above-mentioned boyfriend gets cold feet and dumps her, everything comes crumbling down. She cries, comfort-eats, sleeps on the floor and goes to school looking like a zombie. She employs her two best friends, Alice and Henry, to help her get out of this funk. Things get complicated in the process though, mostly due to her feeling confused and ambivalent... Enter the classic coming-of-age, finding yourself stuff, the "choosing to be alive" as Lola phrases it. Sprinkled with some hilarious spot-on bits of dialogue, usually from Alice (Zoe Lister Jones), the friend who's there mainly for the comic-relief, and does excellent in it I might add.

I have to agree here with some of the negative critique. Yes, it is difficult to feel sorry for Lola when she lives in a beautiful New York apartment, walks around in cute little skirts and high heels looking gorgeous, continues to look gorgeous despite all the comfort-eating, and sleeps with three different guys in the course of an 87 min movie. True that. However, the emotional turmoil, obsessive thinking, failing to accept reality, and all those feelings that follow a heartbreak were there, mindfully portrayed. Greta Gerwig was an ideal choice for the part, since she evokes this next-door-girl quality that makes it easy for the audience to sympathize and identify with her. I also found her little flaws of the "wholesome" diet and the cleansing potion thermos super funny!

At parts of the movie I could guess what the next line was going to be, and not because it was predictable; because it was genuine and it felt real.
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Lovely Drama / comedy
jane14 September 2012
I almost didn't watch this movie based on the low IMDb score, but I found it to be a lovely film. Most of the comedy is generational - so some people might not get it. The story seems true to the complications of modern romantic entanglements and the two main actresses are great. I found the movie much more enjoyable than most of the big budget films that are out there.

I really would consider this more of a drama than a comedy, although it has some comical moments. It's not going to be well liked if you're looking for a romantic comedy. It has some great moments of revelation and is more about soul searching than your typical Hollywood fluff. This is a very nice movie with a nice blend of drama and comedy.
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Too smug for it's own good
gregeichelberger26 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I suppose you need to be in a New York state of mind to enjoy "Lola Versus," but, Phillistine that I am, I just could not pull it off. I also know exactly what many of the smug, self-styled intellectual reviewers are going to write and say about this film. That it's smart, quirky, snappy, gritty, real and funny.

Don't believe any of that.

Once again, I know I will be in the minority opinion, but to this scribbler, it's nothing but a series of unrelated sentences that seeks to substitute for a coherent script; a junk drawer full of supposedly wry and witty bon mots desperately in search of a plot, written by someone with Attention Deficit Disorder.

It seemingly wants to be as clever as "Juno," but does not want to work for it. Of course, it's handicapped because it has neither the intelligence, charm or talent featured in that film. In fact, it's not even a low-rent "500 Days Of Summer," the next picture on the "Will-I-ever-find-true-love-again" bandwagon.

"Lola Versus" is the follow-up to "Breaking Upwards" from writer/director team Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, where the filmmakers attempted to use conventional romcom figures of speech to jump-start conversations that ultimately went nowhere. This goes twice as much for Wein's latest release.

He isn't given much to work with, however. In "Lola," we get actors such as Greta Gerwig ("No Strings Attached"), Joel Kinnaman ("Safe House," "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"), Hamish Linklater ("Battleship"), Lister-Jones ("The Other Guys," "Salt") and Ebon Moss-Bachrach ("The Lake House," Higher Ground").

Oh sure, we also see veteran Bill Pullman (whose last significant work was "Rio Sex Comedy") and Academy Award-nominated (for "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Terms of Endearment") actress, Debra Winger; both are wasted, though, as a terminally high father and nagging mother, respectively.

Here, Gerwig plays the eponymous character, who lives in New York and has one of those New York lives that exist only in movies like this. She lives in a perfect, rent-controlled apartment and is engaged to uber stud, Luke (Kinnaman). It seems to be a match made in Heaven, until a chronic case of cold feet causes him to dump her three weeks before the wedding.

This can happen. I personally know of a situation similar, but no one is going to put THAT story up on the big screen. Lola takes it hard - very hard. She sleeps for what seems like months (only waking to eat a few potato chips and wallow in self-pity, much like the audience). Later, her friend, Alice (Jones), tries to console her by taking her to singles bars and getting her plastered at private parties.

Lola pays her back by sleeping with Alice's on-again, off-again boyfriend, Henry (Linklater), who plays in the world's lamest band. Their relationship begins with an innocent sleep-but-don't-touch thing, but soon devolves into a full-blown affair.

And, since Gerwig's character is a 29-year old New Yorker, she is shallow, annoying, promiscuous and completely self-absorbed. She's also a pothead and an alcoholic, to boot. Plus, not since Kristin Wiig's embarrassing "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" breakdown in "Bridesmaids," do we get a female that goes Hollywood mental at just the wrong time (just because she sees Nick talking to another girl).

All of this while trying to get her life back on track. However, she falls back into her old habits by cheating on her rebound guy with Nick Oyster (Moss-Bachrach), a well-endowed fish salesman (get it?). Lola has sex with him, then complains because he's bothers her, which is certainly the pot calling the kettle black here.

Finally, Nick, seeing the error of his ways comes back into her life, and, of course, Lola forgives him and - gasp - has sex with him (how novel, a male character she sleeps with). In fact, she has baseless, passionless, meaningless intercourse so many times, it frankly becomes as irritating as Gerwig's empty, one-note performance.

It's also very hard to feel sorry for someone who constantly blubbers because she cannot find love, yet has a perfect face and body, a full support group and seemingly beds every man in the Bronx. We all have our troubles and few tears are going to be wasted on her situation.

Lister-Jones, who is equally bothersome most of the time, although a bit less self-centered as Lola, is probably the best thing about this movie (and that is certainly not saying very much). It's sad though, that while she steals every scene she's in, it's all petty larceny in the end. None of the other characters even approach empathy, chemistry or believability.

All the while, the writing tandem attempts a viewer connection by name-dropping such entities as Facebook, and Yelp!, but they spoil everything by practically waving their hands about frantically and shouting, "Hey! We're smarter than all of you! This movie is what life, love and finally growing up is really all about!"

As previously written, don't believe that for a minute.
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The new generation of girls who don't have anything better to do than complain about love, sex, life and sex again
napierslogs15 September 2012
Lola (Greta Gerwig) has a hard time finding her place in the world. So does the film. What starts out as a romantic comedy-styled drama, turns into a sex comedy, and then tries to find its way as a character study. But the character of Lola will turn off some before the film gets going and bore others who have already solved her life's problems.

It has taken me a long time to warm up to Gerwig but she's surprisingly cute and likable here despite how narcissistic, self-destructive, self-involved, and sullen Lola can be. The opening of the film sees Lola in love, Lola getting engaged, and then Lola getting dumped just three weeks before the wedding.

Cancelling a wedding to a man you were in love with after everything is paid for, would be torture to go through. But Lola didn't have to do that. Lola's mother (Debra Winger) cancelled the wedding for her while she cried in bed. Lola's mother and father (Bill Pullman) were likely the highlights of the film as I did laugh at the majority of their lines.

The writing isn't bad. As the film ventures into sex comedy territory, the writers were going for bold, catchy lines. I disagree with the point of being quotable just for the sake of being quotable, and there are way too many examples of that in this film, but some are funny and some will likely resonate with the target audience.

The target audience is not the 29-to-30 year-olds who are trying to find their place in this world. "Lola Versus" is meant for the mid-twenty-somethings who watch the HBO series "Girls" in between their meaningless, hate-filled sexual flings and their self-loathing obsessions about not having a career. For the majority of the film, that is what Lola and her friends are like. Lola describes herself as a "slutty but good person". Her best friend Alice is even worse who makes jokes about oxycodone giving her orgasms.

Her ex-fiancé, her best friend-turned-boyfriend and her potential suitor were decent characters played by decent actors. Joel Kinnaman as the ex-fiancé Luke wasn't given much to do, which is a good thing for the film, as otherwise we probably would have sided with him instead of Lola.

Lola came to some decent, if unimpressive, observations by the end of the film, that it probably would have served them better if "Lola Versus" was meant as a character study all along. But as is you have to suffer through a lot of moaning which most young heroines are too smart for.
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Breaking up is hard to do.
jdesando7 June 2012
"I learned everything I know about being a woman from 90210." Lola (Greta Gerwig)

To watch Greta Gerwig play the eponymous Lola dealing with the cancellation of her wedding 3 weeks before the event by her cold-footed boyfriend, Luke (Joel Kinneman), is to watch a young, already accomplished actress deftly play a doctoral student navigating the emotional potholes of breaking up.

Gerwig is worth the watching while the rest of the film meanders in and out of almost-unconnected episodes with some wit and some clichés. She is so convincingly lost among the ruins of her life that she is believable even when the setups are not. Indeed, it's Gerwig who propels the film, not the uneven scrip of director Daryl Wein and his collaborator, Zoe Lister-Jones.

The film is punctuated by make-up, casual, and silly sex as she finds her way out of depression. To help her is the usual rom-com girlfriend, Alice (Lister-Jones), whose wisecracking ("I gotta go wash my Vagina") helps add comic relief to Lola's melancholic life.

Amid Lola's experimentation with her ex's best friend, Henry (Hamish Linklater), and a pickup, Nick (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), at a fish store are random thoughts about finding the right love or going back to the old love. It's a rather tedious conflict that could be rehashed from some soap and not reflective of HBO's gritty "Girls," if I hear right about the TV sitcom.

It's not that Lola Versus is unreal; on the contrary it is an authentic take on the vagaries of breaking up. However, with as few witty lines and imaginative encounters, it doesn't elevate the argument or provide insight into the anguish and remedies that usually accompany a study of this universal experience.

I would much rather have explored the interesting lives of Lola's loose parents (Lenny and Robin, played by Bill Pullman and Debra Winger) or the challenges of her dissertation on silence in novels. Maybe that's what Lola Versus needs—silence.
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Waste of time and money
mswriteok30 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This movie stinks on ice. Don't even bother. Set in NYC, Lola (Greta Gerwig) discovers on her 29th birthday her life will turn upside down. When her fiancé Luke (Joel Kinnaman) calls off their wedding three weeks before the ceremony, she is bereft. Her parents (the sole bright spot in the movie is Debra Winger and Bill Pullman as doped-out hippies) are sympathetic, as is her friend Alice (Zoe Lister Jones) well as her fiancé's best friend Henry (Hamish Linklater, who is much, much better in "Battleship"). The self-obsessed Lola might as well be a tornado. She leaves devastation in her wake with everyone she knows. When she winds up alone, she must reassess everything and try to start over as she turns 30. There is a rambling plot, goes nowhere and does nothing. Truly, don't bother with this movie. I am amazed it even got made. It's that bad.
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Consolation Lasagna.
morrison-dylan-fan17 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
With having heard about Greta Gerwig for the first time a few years ago,in connection to being the "queen" of the Mumblecore genre,I was pleasantly surprised to recently receive 2 Gerwig Mumblecore titles from a friend,which led to me getting ready to see the "Mumblecore queen" in action for the first time.

The plot:

As her 30th birthday appears on the horizon,29 year old Lola begins to feel that her dream life is about to become a reality,when Lola's first (and only) boyfriend Luke proposes to her.Getting prepared for her big day,Lola is stopped from making her dream a reality,due to Luke telling Lola that he needs some "space" between him and herself just 3 weeks before the wedding.

Surrounding her self with loyal friends Henry and Alice,Lola begins attempting to move the painful feeling which Luke has left behind,by preparing to experience life as a single for the first time ever.

View on the film:

For the screenplay of the film,co-writer's Daryl Wein (who also directs) and Zoe Lister Jones (who also gives a strong performance as Lola's walking on eggshells friend Alice) takes a refreshing approach in avoiding the traditional boy-meets-girl route,by making Lola's "dream ending" one that crumbles apart within the first 10 minutes of the film,which leads to Jones and Wein instead showing Lola trying to build a good,but realistic single life for herself.

Making sure that Lola's transition from being engaged to newly single is one that never becomes too downbeat,Wein and Jones fill the movie with whip-smart dialogue,which along with giving the film a real snappy pace also allows for the close knitted relationship between Lola and her friends to be fully shown.Along with the sharp dialogue,Wein and Jones also show that they are not afraid to make their lead character occasionally look a bit stupid,with some of the best scenes in the film showing Lola go on some less than successful dates for the first time.

Backed by Daryl Wein's smooth directing,which keeps Lola's feet firmly on the ground,whilst also showing a stylish eye for cut-aways that reveal the nightmare that Lola sees her future as being,the beautiful Greta Gerwig gives an excellent performance which carefully makes sure the films comedic moments always stay rooted to Lola's struggle of living a single life,and also shows Lola having some serious doubts on what direction her life should take.

Joining Gerwig,Bill Pullman gives a fun,mini performance as Lola's dad Lenny,which is partly helped by Gerwig and Pullman having a slight resemblance to each other,whilst Hamish Linklater gives a terrific performance as Lola's loyal friend Henry,with Linklater showing what can happen when the wires of friendship unexpectedly cross.
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Lola finding her groove
wilson trivino15 June 2012
Lola (Greta Gerwig) is on top of the world, she is half way through her dissertation on "Silence in 19th Century French Literature" and recently engaged with her hot beau Luke (Joel Kinnaman) on her twenty ninth birthday. Like most often is true in life, if things are too good to be true they usually are and she the swept into a down spin spiral as her plans don't quite turn out like she had planned in her fairy tale life. This witty, cute, and sensitive tale takes in the odyssey of one woman as she presses forward as she lives her turbulent twenties into her confident thirties where she can take charge and realizes that she can be still be a sex kitten with the confidences of a tamed lioness. Directed by Daryl Welin and opens on June 15, Lola Versus is a fun adventure. by Dr. Wilson Trivino
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Truly, Madly, Deeply
valis194921 May 2013
LOLA VERSUS (dir. Daryl Wein) The film sets out to expand the parameters of Romantic Comedy by taking a typical gambit (almost a cliché) and gently bruising it a bit. Lola's dreamy life in NYC comes to an abrupt halt when she's dumped by her fiancé. Not in a relationship, and creeping up on thirty...Oh, the horror! Now things get complicated, and she might fall for her best male friend, or even get some emotional help from her hippie parents. The jokes are barbed, and Lola makes some ill suited choices not usually covered in the genre, yet she's got oodles more pluck than the standard sugarcoated heroine. Greta Gerwig is enchanting in the lead role, and her delightful comedic mannerisms and facial expressions are perfect for this wry comedy. This film is a splendid choice if you're looking for something more than the run-of-the-mill lighthearted (empty-headed?) Rom Com.
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Gerwig shines in an otherwise so-so romcom for the mumble core generation
george.schmidt16 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
LOLA VERSUS (2012) **1/2 Greta Gerwig, Joel Kinnaman, Zoe Lister Jones, Hamish Linklater, Bill Pullman, Debra Winger, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Maria Drizzia. Gerwig continues her cottage industry as the mumble core poster-girl makes a head-and-shoulders attempt in her first leading role as the titular heroine, a young psychology grad student in NYC whose fiancée suddenly flakes out and dumps her just before the impending nuptials, causing her to reflect, react and retract - not necessarily in that order - in response as she attempts to find herself without losing her mind. The arch screenplay by co-star Lister Jones (a hoot for the most part as Gerwig's New Age-y BFF with novice filmmaker Daryl Wein has its hands full in trying to set the right tone somewhere between Woody Allen, Nora Ephron and Edward Burns with uneven results in a hit-and-miss too-cool-for-school dialogue and 'awkward' for awkward sakes situations yet the picturesque cinematography by Jakob Ihre makes Manhattan even more romantic than it has been in years (!) Gerwig shines but has a lot of heavy lifting to do.
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The Setting IS Wrong
mreyno0214 June 2012
At it's core, this is almost as entertaining as a Romantic Comedy should be. But, the setting for this story about a narcissistic, big-city, gen-Y girl seemed 'off'. I can imagine that girls in many places around the world get a sense of dread for that approaching 3-oh, but it's just not true for women, especially in many urban areas, where serious romance, and courting happens not only before 30, but after. I just can't imagine a girl living in a socially sophisticated place like New York City with a sense of foreboding that age is a limiting factor to finding the one she really should be with. The story also meandered a bit, as it tried to develop a clear direction, but while it was scattered, it finally found a direction at the end.
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tmayx27 June 2013
I really enjoyed this movie. It was not too fast nor not too slow, not too heavy nor too light. This movie is about a young women in her mid twenties going through the ups and down in her life due to her selfish/thoughtless decisions, and her name is Lola. Her life was a total wrecked after her fiancé decided to bail a couple of weeks before their wedding. So as you all might have guessed correctly, this movie is technically about Lola's messed and screwed up life. I felt extremely sorry for Lola through out the movie, everything seems to be happening at the wrong time and place for her. It gets pretty depressing at times, but I think the dialogue and screenplay was really genuine and realistic. It has a pinch of comedy with it too. If you're not in the mood so something rather slow and not happening, I would advice you not to watch this movie. You'll end up getting annoyed and impatient. Only watch it when you are in the mood for it! Cheers.
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No need to run, Lola
Rubens Junior5 September 2012
I may understand why Lola Versus is being so underrated, because it's an atypical romantic comedy. A simple, subtle and sometimes naive one when showing a character struggling to repair herself after a traumatic breakup 3 weeks before her wedding with the man she planned to build her entire life with.

So it's completely normal go thru hard times after a situation like that, and always find ourselves in between moments of euphoria and distress, typical symptoms of the dysthymia suffered by any one after the end of a relationship. Her friends, Alice (Zoe Lister Jones) and Henry (Hammish Linklater), will do anything to support her and show other perspectives about the new situation, but every single help seems not enough and will be going thru all the pain that she will finally get self redemption.

After the subtlety of (500) Days Of Summer (2009), people rediscovered what a good romantic comedy means. Lola Versus does not have the same warm appeal or a character that arouses so much compassion like Marc Webb's movie, but it follows the same style when showing human suffering in its purest way, and also the mistakes and flaws attached when overcoming a great disappointment in life. We all had Lola's days and have already been versus the world too at least once in our lives, and this movie couldn't be any more sincere when simply showing all those mixed feelings when you have been caught by surprise like she has. It's easy fall for sympathy for the character and all her anxiety, anguish, confusion and that constant heart pain that is never physically felt but is there somewhere.

It's an uncommon movie and completely different from what we usually see, that's why it may seems uninspired or out of the line, but only who knows what it takes to get the pieces together may understand all the process Lola is going thru, her recovering, her back and forth, and griefs drowned into alcohol and meaningless sex.

A motivating, heartwarming and inspiring movie that develops itself together with the character's step by step progress, with an amazing soundtrack, great dialogs and charismatic characters that are unintentionally funny. For sure is not a movie that will make people talk a lot about or fully understand it at first, but certainly a faithful reproduction of the inner pain, confusion and how people can be so foolish wasting energy trying to repair something that only time heals.

Better appreciated by those who someday were against the world too and exactly know how Lola feels.
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an indie film that feels real
normancaleb129 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I had high hopes for this movie but it disappointed me a little. I wasn't to surprised to see the large amount of low ratings because there have been much better movies produced that are quite similar to this one. Overall it was a good movie that felt a lot more real than most other movies I have seen lately and that what made it so interesting to watch. the movie felt like it was about a real person going through life and not a scripted movie like it actually is. Some of the lines were unnecessary like "I was an incubator baby" but apart from those bits of dialog the movie felt well paced and well scripted. The movie took awhile to to really interest me but I was glad that I stayed watching it the whole time because in the end It was sort of worth while.
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I don't understand why this film was made.
daniel_buehler5 December 2012
I can't complain about the camera work or the acting. While I didn't particularly enjoy them, nothing really struck me as bad in those departments.

The characters premise seemed to be one of emotional immaturity (whether prevalent or circumstantial), and with that in mind at least all behaved in understandable manners.

The problem is: I don't quite get why this was made into a movie. It was a pain to watch all the self-destructive behavior (most of it on the main characters side). It's a film about the usual average drama that happens in real life and no mitigating qualities to it. I tried to come up with reasons why anyone would want to see this movie, I could not come up with a reason.
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refreshing indie rom com
victoriasimon8623 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Lola Versus (2012) Greta Gerwig stars as the unlikely heroine in this indie Rom Com. I know that people know her from other comedies but this was my introduction to her. Lola is a quirky and naive 29 year old who thinks her life is right where it needs to be apartment in the city with fiancée, graduate school, great friends, supportive parents and even though she is also selfish, you grow to like her. When her fiancée dumps her out of the blue you feel for her. Her two sidekick best friends are the most predictable part of this unorthodox movie providing the love triangle aspect. The best thing about this movie is Lola's insight. What she learns and how she transforms. I saw it over a week ago and I still cant get it out of my head.
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Great Indie Flick!!
dancastle16 October 2013
Saw this last night on cable and really loved it! Didn't know anything about but as soon as it started I could tell it was worth watching just based on the initial opening shots. This is great economical film making with great actors in NYC working with a fun, believable script that captures what it feels like to lose a relationship and find yourself at the end of your twenties in a big city. I'm not sure what the budget was but this film could be used as a template for anyone trying to make a LB film. You don't need anything other than great actors who are believable in their respective parts, great cinematography, fine editing and a script that arcs properly and tells a story in a fun way. Congratulations to everyone involved! I'm sure you will all be working a lot! :) D
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joeg23722 July 2013
I will never watch another Fox Searchlight film because whenever I do movies like this happen. Either Greta Gerwig is a talented bright young actress who just does schmaltzy fake indie movies or some diabolical executive's evil invention designed to single handedly kill non-mainstream cinema. I'm not sure. Lola Versus is a feeble boring predictable yawn-fest about a beautiful young woman who just can't seem to find love in America's and possibly the world's greatest city. I could go on but why? The one star is solely for Gerwig's infectious charm and magnetism even though I feel like she is slowly ruining my love for New York City.
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A must see movie!
Olivia21 June 2017
I really don't understand the low rating and low metascore for this movie. It's not a deep movie but it certainly is a feel good-coming of age movie that has nothing to envy from these type of movies with a much higher rating here on IMDb! Even so, i think it's more genuine than others, with a much more realistic dialogue and well thought out characters that feel like real people you can empathize with. Greta Gerwig is spot on for this part! A must see movie :)
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Great movie!
hege-26-69106230 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I really liked this movie.. Kind of strange and cute at the same time. You know, things like this do happen to some people - maybe even more than we know. Lola gets dumped, and her whole world turns up side down. It's not easy being left alone when you're almost 30. And all of the things you thought would be there the rest of your life falls apart. So I think that Greta who portrays Lola is doing a wonderful job in that role. And I was both surprised, sad and happy that it ended the way it did. I'm a fan of happy endings (that people get back together), but sometimes it might be best that people don't - really.

I also think that the other actors in this movie did a good job. I LOVED Lola's friend Alice! Ah, I wish I had a friend like that. So funny comments, how do even writers come up with it? So funny!

This is a movie I would recommend to my friends, and a movie that I would like to watch again.
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The Alternative Rock Romcom
Chris_Pandolfi8 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
If traditional Hollywood romantic comedies are like pop rock, then "Lola Versus" is the equivalent to alternative. Although it has the same basic sensibilities and is generally just as implausible as more mainstream fare, it explores its characters and themes in a quirkier, less soppy way. In terms of plot, we can make out the basic trajectory, but there are times when it deviates from the path, specifically when it comes to the satisfying but not necessarily happy ending. It's a refreshing approach and a welcome change of pace. All the same, I must admit that I personally prefer more Hollywood-style romcoms, simply because they usually work harder at getting the audience to feel good, if only for about an hour and a half. Yes, there are those of us that are perfectly content with pop.

Taking place in New York City, the film depicts one year in the life of a literature grad student named Lola (Greta Gerwig), beginning on her twenty-ninth birthday with a voice-over narration and a dream sequence in which personal effects such as shoes, handbags, and vibrators wash up by the hundreds on a beach. When she awakens, her longtime boyfriend, an artist named Luke (Joel Kinnaman), proposes to her. Then, only weeks before the wedding, he calls off the engagement. A heartbroken and hopelessly confused Lola moves into her old apartment, which, in a cruel twist of fate, was being rented by a young woman who has just gotten engaged. Lola turns to her best friend, a fringe theater actress named Alice (Zoe Lister-Jones, also the co-writer and one of the executive producers), for advice and support. She also has to content with her well-meaning but misguided parents (Debra Winger and Bull Pullman). Her father still adheres to free love ideals that went out of fashion forty years ago.

Lola will eventually cross a line with her other friend, a singer named Henry (Hamish Linklater), a complication made worse by the fact that he's also Luke's friend. Twice, she tries dating a man named Nick (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), who is essentially this film's answer to traditional comedy relief. Consider this line of dialogue, delivered as he and Lola sip wine in his obviously pretentious apartment: "I never set out to be a prison architect. It just happened that way." As Lola desperately tries to make sense of herself now that she's single, she's repeatedly approached by Luke, who it seems does want to work things out with her. She will, of course, surrender in a weak moment and have sex with him, but that doesn't necessarily mean she's ready to take him back. Meanwhile, Alice, in her own loveably neurotic way, laments about being the only single woman in New York. At the same time, she doesn't want to advance on someone like Henry, given the fact that he and Lola know each other too well.

Reading this plot description, you may feel as if you know exactly where the film will go. To an extent, you'd be right; aspects of "Lola Versus" are cut from the same cloth as a traditional romantic comedy. But don't be lulled into a false sense of security. The filmmakers avoided many of the conventions audiences are conditioned to expect, which is good because that means certain elements may actually surprise you. I think the key difference between this film and your run-of-the-mill romcom is that the latter is typically founded on little more than the fantasy of falling in love with the ideal partner; "Lola Versus" is really more of a character study and isn't as interested in the mechanics of a contrived romance. It's about the title character's journey towards self-discovery.

One thing the filmmakers do right is tone down on personality absolutes. Unlike a Hollywood romcom, where the characters are developed according to broad generalizations, "Lola Versus" paints in shades of gray and uses smaller strokes. When I described Luke earlier, I'll bet you came to the conclusion that he was a jerk and that Lola would be better off without him. But it isn't that clear cut. There are no perfect characters in this movie. They all make mistakes. On the same token, they all have redeeming qualities. Luke may be annoying unclear about what he wants, and he certainly could have handled the situation with Lola in a much better way, but he really isn't a bad guy.

I also appreciated the way in which the filmmakers depict New York. Rather than bombard us with photogenic shots of landmarks and skylines we're all very familiar with, they instead opt for smaller, more intimate locations in less well known sections of the city. This isn't a travelogue; the setting is secondary to the human story at its core. That this particular story happens to revolve around the amusing ups and downs of relationship doesn't make that much of a difference. "Lola Versus" is a charming film, one that may not provide general audiences with everything they've come to expect from a romantic comedy but still gets the job done nicely. Despite my personal preferences, even I know that it's good to try out an alternative approach every once in a while.

-- Chris Pandolfi (
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FRIENDS Rachel Green ewwwww
rawvibes8 June 2012
Don't try to wrap your brain around this movie you'll get a headache. Just know it's a pinch of THE OC, 90210 and Friends. Lola the creature of habit is about to find out that she needs to go out and create a new puzzle of life that she can add pieces too. The new generation nowadays its like passing around there ex's like a 5 foot subway sandwich with everyone getting a taste. I would say this would be for 18 to 30 female bracket. Guys would see the movie with their girl but it's not one guys are going to jump at. Lola makes a mistake in the beginning to try and make sense of here life and trying to make the best out of the pieces she has in making a puzzle.
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Smart girl Stupid girl (alternate title)
SnoopyStyle27 August 2013
Lola (Greta Gerwig) is 29 years-old and happily engaged to Luke (Joel Kinnaman). But 3 weeks before their big day, Luke cancels. Lola is left with the wreckage of her relationship and must struggle to find happiness. Zoe Lister Jones stars as the best friend.

Director Daryl Wein co-writes this with long-time writing partner Zoe Lister-Jones. This is another 20-something sophisticated girl who can't get her act together. She's a smart girl who is acting stupid. Zoe has some funny lines. Greta is playing her stock character. I like the actors, but it's too bad that there isn't anything new.
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decent film, but "deaf-mute" really???
marysuepro30 June 2013
This is a decent flick..pretty funny, but the one thing that I really dislike is the fact that Lola (Greta Gerwig)uses the term "deaf-mute" to describe her friend's character when she goes to see her play. First of all, there is no such person as a 'deaf-mute' unless they are deaf and have had their vocal chords removed. This is 2013 and I am certain many people were involved in making this film. I am surprised that no one at all knows that the term is not only offensive, but completely inaccurate. Just an FYI, and I hope someone will read this and "ALERT THE MEDIA"!! Thanks :) I don't usually base a review entirely on the use of an offensive word, or phrase but this is just so ridiculous, and I continue to hear it in so many films. Otherwise, Lola Versus is fun, quirky and over the top regarding sex,and her seemingly self loathing actions. The other characters are also really strange and quirky, but I think that is what makes it a decent film. It's like, we all know someone like them, albeit not quite so dramatic. There is a lot of irony in this film and some of the scenes are similar to the humor in Napolean Dynamite (which I loved), so that is not a bad thing. So, overall, funny film. If they could only edit out the deaf-mute part, it would be even better!
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