Lola Versus (2012)

Rated R. Our ratings: V -1; L -;5 S/N -6. Running time: 1 hour 27 min.

Be still, and know that I am God!
Psalm 46:10a

And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Matthew 22.39

Lola plans to marry her boy friend Luke. until…

© 2012 Fox Searchlight Films

Lola (Greta Gerwig) is deep into her marriage plans when, three weeks before the ceremony her lover Luke (Joel Kinnaman) backs out because he is so uncertain about such a binding commitment. Lola is also about to turn 29, a year shy of the dreaded year when society stigmatizes unmarried women, as her overly anxious mom Robin (Debra Winger) reminds her.

How she clumsily copes with these two dilemmas provides both laughter and some insight into the world of young adults, whose lives are so intertwined with cell phones and the Internet. Director Daryl Wein and co-writers Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister Jones have crafted a stimulating film that rises a little above the usual romances flooding into theaters during the summer. However, it is Greta Gerwig and her supporting cast that really make this such an appealing work.

Lola is no brainless bimbo, even though she seems to use sex (again with her former lover, with his best friend, and then with a stranger she meets in a store) for escape. She is a doctoral candidate, her thesis being upon the place of silence in French literature. I wish the filmmakers had explored this a little more. Amidst all the clamor of urban life, maybe she should delve into how her thesis might apply to her own situation. She would do well to read and heed Psalm 46. But in several scenes near the end we see that Lola is growing in self understanding, especially in her conversation with her mother about the Cinderella myth. The sex and drug use make this film problematic for most church groups, especially for youth—the film deserves its R rating—but a group of young adults could have a good time discussing it.

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