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Lola Versus (2012)

Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Zoe Lister-Jones, Greta Gerwig, more...
Director: Jonathan Starch, Daryl Wein
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Comedies, Romantic Comedy
Running Time: 90 min.


Teetering on the edge of 30 and freshly dumped by her fiancÚ just weeks before their wedding, a depressed woman named Lola (Greta Gerwig) attempts to pick herself up and dive back into the dating scene with the help of her two best friends -- the outspoken Alice (Zoe Lister-Jones) and the sweet-natured Henry (Hamish Linklater).

Lola Versus captures the obsessions, confusions, and neuroses of contemporary urban middle class consciousness. Lola (Greta Gerwig) thinks her life is perfect--until her fiancÚ Luke (Joel Kinnaman) breaks up with her mere weeks before their wedding. What follows is a comic floundering, what might be a 21st-century update to 1970s "finding herself" movies like An Unmarried Woman, only the men are just as sensitive and self-absorbed as the women. Fortunately, the filmmakers keep a sense of perspective and humor about it all, and just as fortunately the movie is grounded in the unusual presence of its lead actress. Gerwig is strikingly beautiful, a fusion of a 1920s movie star and a Renaissance Madonna, but projects ordinariness. When juxtaposed with typical movie stars, she seems awkward and goofy, but when she's the center of a movie, it all becomes suffused with her sweet approachability. The rest of the cast gets in tune, including Bill Pullman and Debra Winger as Lola's earnest, supportive parents and Hamish Linklater as Lola's best friend, Henry. The ending feels a bit tacked on, as if suddenly trying to harness the movie to a particular agenda, but the rest of Lola Versus enjoyably spins and wobbles in ways that resist easy labeling. ~Bret Fetzer

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