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Film Reviews Blog: ‘Lola Versus’ An Awkward Tale

By Mikhail Chernyavsky
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It’s a downward spiral of bad decisions in the post-break up blues.

“Lola Versus” explores the after effects of the 29-year-old Lola (Greta Gerwig) who has been dumped by her fiancé Luke (Joel Kinnaman) less than a month before the wedding.

Your relationship experience will determine how you feel about the film and it’s central character.

Her decisions throughout the film are self-sabotaging, and some choices are so bad it’s hard not to yell at the screen, “What the hell Lola!”

Everyone has gone through a bad break up (if you haven’t then this film might shed some light on your less fortunate friends) and that is what makes it so relatable.

Lola falls into a “power-eating” depression in which she vacuums up junk food, and it’s her best friend Alice (Zoe Lister Jones, who also co-wrote the film) to the rescue.

Alice helps to avoid the sitcom cliché of two girls eating ice cream on the couch and bad mouthing men. She’s been single for so long that her loneliness has built a wall of sarcasm and a jaded perspective on dating. But, her intentions are sincere as she helps a friend recover, by forcing Lola to quit self-loathing and to try dating again.

Lola’s choices in rebounds are where some of the films best laughs derive. Bad choices are the driving force of the film.

This is especially true when she begins to date her friend-zoned nice guy-friend Henry (Hamish Linklater), who has always had feelings for her.

It is this quickly failed relationship that really makes it hard to sympathize with Lola. She is the reason that the relationship begins and ends.

She may be victim of heartache, but it gives little validation to victimizing others to her pain. Her actions are reflective of a young girl who simply grabs hold to the shiniest object in the room until something else catches her eye.

As the title suggests, Lola has taken to battle against the world. So, it is no wonder that she feels abandoned and helpless.

Her struggles and bad decisions are awkward and confusing as to why they happened, but we can only see this because we are clearheaded in this matter.

We all reflect on past mistakes and realize the stupidity of the situation. This is what makes “Lola Versus” great. It let’s you remember the stupid things you’ve done in the past, whether it was a result of a bad break up or not.

On the surface level, this may just be another film of female angst, but the end message isn’t that men are evil. This is a story of one woman’s fall and redemption.

Lola’s realization of her mistakes shows growth. Although you feel very little sympathy for her self-destructive behavior throughout the film, you realize that making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad person.

It is in her efforts to change that grant her our sympathy and forgiveness. Because without that change, how could we realize the awkwardness and stupidity of our own mistakes?

Check out “Mark at the Movies” as he sits down to talk to Gerwig about the film and her Sacramento roots.

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