Greta Gerwig is so revered in weird, slightly stuffy, indie circles that, regardless of how the films she’s in are received, the caveat ‘Gerwig does her best to redeem the picture’ is almost always applied. Such is the case with Lola Versus, a study of late twenties anxiety, that is at times both idealised and juvenile, affecting and repulsive. The main problem with the film is its insistence on being pedestrian- in trying to capture something of ‘real life’ the movie instead becomes a slightly saccharine version of everyday encounters with not especially nice people (albeit it people who live in particularly nice apartments).
The film has its moments and there are a few pieces of emotional honesty that ring true in a sort of Lena Dunham-lite way, but the comparison is, in general, an unflattering one. Gerwig does her best in a role that she seems to play time after time but it’s a relatively thankless task as the film has neither the guts to still to its guns (creepy prison architect with the abnormally large penis isn’t quite creepy enough) nor the romantic intelligence to stop plot contrivances dictating the narrative (best friends sleeping with one another/yawn). It’s a tough thing to say but, frankly, this isn’t a story that needed to be made into a film.
But for all its problems, Lola Versus is not an unpleasant hour and a half. It’s not particularly funny or moving, but it’s fairly amiable company and it doesn’t drag like so many indie movies do. There’s an over indulgence of New York skylines and lens flares but the ending, when it comes, is perhaps the best part of the movie, finally casting a slightly ambiguous light over the clarity of its previously painfully transparent proceedings.
Gerwig and company get to do their schtick again and will shift a few tickets but this is a poor movie without any real purpose.
|Starring:||Greta Gerwig, Hamish Linklater, Joel Kinnaman, Zoe Lister Jones, Debra Winger, Bill Pullman|
|Running Time:||About an hour and a half|