Here Comes Lola! (Hier Kommt Lola!)
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Some people may see film festivals as some kind of nerdy gathering for movie snobs, who sit around all day watching deep, philosophical art house films that no normal person would ever dream of watching. And, well, in some cases, they might be right. After all, I’ll freely admit to having seen some pretty strange movies at film festivals. But I’ve also seen all kinds of foreign comedies and lovable family movies—like the German kids’ film, Here Comes Lola! (Hier Kommt Lola!), which played at this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival.

Lola Veloso (Meira Durand) is an imaginative little girl who dreams of a life as Jacky Jones, the world’s youngest pop superstar. But she’s really just a lonely kid who lives in the country with her German mother (Julia Jentsch) and her Brazilian father (Fernando Spengler).

Tired of dealing with the prejudices that their biracial family faces from their small-town neighbors, the Velosos decide to move to Hamburg, where Lola’s father can open a Brazilian restaurant. Lola is excited about the move—because it means that she might finally find the one thing that she really, truly wants: a best friend. But she soon finds that the search for a best friend is just as hard in the city as it was in the country.

Here Comes Lola! isn’t the kind of film that you might expect to find playing at a film festival. Filled with imaginative dream sequences and poppy song and dance numbers, it feels a little bit like a German Hannah Montana.

Lola is a lovably silly character with a wild imagination. Though her attitude and her temper might sometimes get on your nerves, she more than makes up for it with her colorful personality and her creative stories. And even though Durand and the film’s other child actors have a tendency to overact, Lola (and the other young characters) is still charming.

The story, meanwhile, is sweet and funny, with plenty of valuable lessons to be learned along the way—lessons about things like keeping an open mind and being a good friend. At the same time, Lola also has a way of getting herself into all kinds of outrageous trouble—so she’s sure to keep young viewers giggling. But, of course, her family is always able to work things out, in perfect TV sitcom fashion—and by the time the film comes to an end, all of the characters are ready for their happily ever after.

It may be fluffy and unrealistic, but Here Comes Lola! is still a charmingly silly film—one that young viewers will enjoy. With its playful style and its lovable young characters, it would make a fun first foreign film for young would-be film buffs.

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