MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
This past spring, “Lola Versus” made a bit of noise in the critical community, not because it was any great feat of filmmaking, but rather because critics who didn’t like it came under fire from the filmmakers. Those who disliked the film tended to be male, which is no surprise considering a high percentage of film critics tend to be male. So, the filmmakers labeled these dissenters as sexist.
That was utter hogwash, a smoke-and-mirrors guerilla marketing attempt inspired by Harvey Weinstein’s rantings about his films to get free press. I’m not sure if the filmmakers actually believed the critics who didn’t like “Lola Versus” were sexist, but it was a cheap ploy nonetheless.
Sure, the segment of the audience that best identifies with Greta Gerwig’s character of Lola will most likely be women. After all, the movie is about a woman turning 30 who sees her life falling apart. Lola’s fiancé unexpectedly breaks up with her, and she has to re-enter the dating world. She spends a year in emotional turmoil as she tries to put her life back together and deal with more drama coming from his angle.
I didn’t dislike this movie because I’m a man. I generally disliked this movie because I felt the main character was a bit pathetic. I’m tired of stories about twentysomethigns trying to get their lives back together after a break-up, and it’s not just the female characters that annoy me in this sense. That was one of my main problems with “(500) Days of Summer” and the more recent “Ruby Sparks.”
Perhaps it’s because I’ve never been through this sort of thing myself. I happily married at 25 years old, and I’ve never gone through a bitter break-up. I just see all the emotional meandering appropriate for a “Twilight” movie but not for someone who considers himself or herself an adult. I just wanted to slap the characters in this film and yell, “Grow up!” In fact, the only thing that holds the thing together is Greta Gerwig’s charm, which is considerable. Imagine how much I like movies in which I don’t find her annoying.
The movie is co-written by Zoe Lister-Jones, which explains why she’s in it at all. Most people will recognize her from the wretched sit-com “Whitney” in which she basically plays the exact same character as she does in this movie. Trust me, Lister-Jones isn’t doing herself any favors recycling this character everywhere she goes.
The Blu-ray of “Lola Versus” includes an audio commentary with director Daryl Wein and actress/co-writer Zoe Lister-Jones. There’s also deleted scenes and an alternate ending, plus outtakes and two Fox Movie Channel featurettes: “In Character with Greta Gerwig” and “World Premiere.” Additional featurettes include “The Filmmakers” and “Greta Gerwig: Leading Lady.”