"Lola spends much of her time simply moping around feeling sorry for herself, whilst us in the audience are doing very much the same..."
Following the disappointing Damsels in Distress earlier this year, I had thought that I would find it rather difficult to find a character as annoying as the one Greta Gerwig portrayed, and now, a mere matter of months down the line, the American actress has surpassed herself taking on the infuriating role of hapless romanticist Lola, in Daryl Wein's Lola Versus.
Unlucky in love, Lola thought she had it all, engaged to the love of her life and long-term partner Luke (Joel Kinnaman), yet days before the wedding Luke pulls the plug, leaving Lola to pick up the pieces. Although struggling to come to terms with Luke's decision, Lola is fortunate in that she has the support of her parents - played by Bill Pullman and Debra Winger, and her best friends Alice (Zoe Lister Jones) and Henry (Hamish Linklater), yet she soon discovers she has feelings for the latter.
Lola is then left with a predicament as she can't shake off her feelings for Luke, yet has found herself falling for their mutual friend Henry, as she needs to decide what she must do next. However, Lola has a tendency in making the wrong decisions in her life and she soon realises she must follow her heart rather than her head to avoid any further disruptions, particularly as she draws closer to the milestone that is her 30th birthday...
Lola Versus is a terribly self-indulgent film, which seems to be the case for the majority of Gerwig's features. Funnily enough I actually like her and think she is a talented actress, she just makes a few wrong decisions, taking on roles in supposedly quirky indie comedies which come across as being more contrived and self-obsessed. In this instance Lola spends much of her time simply moping around feeling sorry for herself, whilst us in the audience are doing very much the same. On a more positive note it is quite entertaining how Lola continuously manages to mess everything up for herself, as we sit there with our head in our hands on her behalf. Yet that doesn't make the character any less insufferable.
Lola isn't the only annoying character though, oh no, every single person in this film is annoying - from Lola to her parents to the man she meets in the Fishmongers. Literally every single one. That's a real fault of the film makers as in order to feel emotionally involved in a picture you need to like, or at least identify with the protagonists, but it's no easy task, especially as far as Lola is concerned.
The film doesn't really go anywhere either, causing tedium along the way. Wein is evidently attempting realism also, but this film couldn't feel further away from real life. The characters and their relations between one another simply feel false - somewhat of a surprise given the film is written by real-life couple Wein and Lister Jones.
Lola Versus is just an irksome film that doesn't tell a particularly strong story, bears a few too many pestering characters and isn't remotely funny. The film's tag-line reads; 'Lola vs Sex, Love, Lola and the World' but they forgot to mention Lola versus the film critic - which amounted in a resounding home defeat.