Lola Versus

"Help me up! I have no core."


by Britni McDonald

Let me start by highlighting Milwaukee cinema: The Oriental Theater on North Farwell Ave. It seems to be a hidden gem lost in a sea of commercial overload-- an old-fashioned movie theater with all the charm those commercial chains fail to have. I took a peek in the main theater on my way to see Lola Versus this weekend and was really taken back by its regal set up. I didn’t get to enjoy this theater with what was undoubtedly a better movie (Moonrise Kingdom). Instead the silly girl inside me thought this indie film would be a cute, light-hearted, and clever one. That was not the case.

The film follows Lola, a 29-year-old woman who gets dumped by her fiancé three weeks before the wedding. She then proceeds to do almost everything you shouldn’t do after something like that happens: continue seeing him, “date” his best friend, and sleep with a stranger.

The sexual content goes way overboard. It's awkward, totally unnecessary, and crude. I almost never think scenes like this contribute to a storyline. In fact, it's usually a distraction or cop-out for a lacking storyline.

While the movie did have some quirkiness that made me laugh, overall, the attempt at humor was forced. The amature acting and weak characterization didn't help. Greta Gerwig was a poor choice for the lead role, which isn't surprising looking at her weak acting history. Her pouty, cutesy demeanor wasn't convincing or attractive. But the real problem was the character. I don't think anyone could have made Lola relatable or endearing. She was so self-destructive it was really just tragic. The only redeeming factor in this movie is how it ends.

SPOILER ALERT-- If you dig through the pile of crap, the "message" is that it's ok to be alone, even empowering, but sometimes it takes real heartbreak and hitting rock bottom to get there. Almost every romantic comedy is anti-feminist, focusing on women being happy only with a man by her side, sometimes to the point of forgiving almost anything. It was nice to instead see a woman in the end standing on her own-- stronger, wiser, and truly independent. So it was especially disappointing to me that this kind of unconventional message was overwhelmed by all of the other flaws.

I think the only thing Lola's versing in this one was whoever created the movie in the first place.

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