It's Greta Gerwig's time.
After about five years of piddling around micro-budget mumblecore films and a few minor appearances in forgettable in Hollywood romantic comedies (anyone out there remember "Arthur?"), the indie darling finally gets her chance to seize the spotlight in "Lola Versus." She owns it, and the movie greatly succeeds as a result.
Gerwig plays Lola, a late-20s grad student about to get married to Luke ("The Killing"'s Joel Kinnaman). However, with only a few weeks until their marriage, Luke breaks up with Lola, causing her life to spiral out of control. Her friends (Hamish Linklater and co-writer Zoe Lister Jones) and parents (Debra Winger and a rare Bill Pullman appearance) attempt to help Lola realign her life, but a series of flings makes matters more chaotic.
The movie's plot sounds eerily reminiscent of several other indie comedies, and many of "Lola Versus'" elements will have indie-weary audiences seeing déjà vu. Lister Jones' Alice is the typical wild and crazy single best friend who gives advice and quirky support, and Lola's hip lifestyle, featuring chic jobs (her boyfriend has the indie-approved occupation of painter) and various trendy health foods, feels more cliché than genuine.
Luckily, those are the only things in the movie that ring false. Director and co-writer Daryl Wein calmly handles the complex emotions on display in the story, a surprising feat for a director taking on his first big production (his only previous effort was a barely seen 2010 indie "Breaking Upwards," also co-written and starring Lister Jones). It's not a particularly flashy job, unlike "500 Days of Summer," the indie hit proudly touted on "Lola Versus'" poster, but Wein's little touches, such as swift cuts into Lola's mental images, go a long way.
The film is not about the style and direction; it's about its star and her hopefully star-making turn. Since her mainstream debut as Ben Stiller's girlfriend in Noah Baumbach's "Greenberg," Gerwig has shown …Read more...