Lola Versus
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There’s a pretty good chance that, at some point in your life, you’ve gone through a devastating breakup—the kind of heartbreak that sends your whole world into a tailspin. It turns you into someone else—someone completely unfamiliar and more than a little bit unstable. And that’s exactly what happens to the title character in Daryl Wein’s Lola Versus.

On her 29th birthday, everything changes for Lola (Greta Gerwig). Her long-time boyfriend, Luke (Joel Kinnaman), proposes, turning her life into a beautiful blur of wedding planning. But then, after months of looking forward to their lives together as husband and wife, Luke decides that he just can’t take it anymore, and he walks away.

Suddenly, with just one conversation, life as Lola knows it comes to an end. Without Luke, she seems lost and confused—and terrified of her uncertain future. She turns to her best friends, Alice (Zoe Lister Jones) and Henry (Hamish Linklater), for support, but her every choice she makes seems to make her life more and more complicated.

  
 
If you’ve ever been dumped by the person whom you believed to be The One, you’ll most likely relate to this messy indie drama. It isn’t always enjoyable to watch. Sometimes, in fact, it’s pretty painful—especially as Lola continues to make one bad decision after another. Wounded and confused and utterly heartbroken, Lola ends up losing her focus and hurting the people who care about her.

While you’ll sometimes want to hate Lola, though, Gerwig plays her like the lost puppy dog that she is—and, no matter how bad her decisions may be, you’ll simply feel sorry for her. Actually, Gerwig’s performance makes the film. It’s easily her best—most natural—role yet, showing that she can be so much more than just another ditsy blonde hipster.

Gerwig is so good, in fact, that she might just make you overlook the serious flaws in the supporting cast—like Lister Jones, whose Alice is so crass and obnoxious that you’ll want to close your eyes and plug your ears whenever she shows up on screen, or Kinnaman, who’s so flat and bland as Luke that you’ll often wonder what Lola saw in him in the first place. Only Linklater manages to pick up some of the slack as adorably dorky and eternally supportive Henry.

Lola Versus isn’t a light romantic comedy. Sure, it has its humorous moments—but, for the most part, it’s messy and difficult and sometimes downright frustrating. Still, it’s an accurate and often brutally honest portrait of life with a broken heart—of the feelings we experience and the mistakes we make while we’re mourning the loss of a relationship that seemed destined to last forever. For those of us who have been there, it’s sometimes hard to watch—but Gerwig makes it a worthwhile experience.


DVD Review:
The DVD release of Lola Versus comes with just a few basic extras. Most of them, in fact, are outtakes. Both Cheyenne Jackson and Ebon “Nick the Dick” Moss-Bachrach get their own outtake reels, complete with failed attempts and improvisation. There’s also a quirky general outtake reel. It’s definitely not the usual blooper reel—the kind that’s filled with giggling, dancing, cursing actors. Instead, it’s a little darker and a lot more bizarre.

The disc also includes a commentary track with writer / director Daryl Wein and co-writer / actress Zoe Lister Jones. You might expect the young director and the outspoken actress to have plenty to say, but although they do offer a few tidbits of information here and there, their commentary is surprisingly dull.

While some of the film’s outtakes are pretty amusing, none of the extras on the disc are especially noteworthy. So after you finish watching the movie, feel free to remove the disc from your player; you won’t miss much if you skip the special features menu.

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