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Lola Versus (Lola gegen den Rest der Welt) ***

It’s New York City. Lola lives in a Manhattan apartment, joyfully planning her wedding. A few minutes later the joy has disappeared and she is a wreck: her boy friend Luke just cancelled the ceremony. He “can’t do it any more.” She’s 29, pushing 30, and what else is there to live for? Luckily her friends Alice and Henry are nearby to bolster her spirits. Her parents are helpful; they even call Luke’s parents to tell them that THEY must cover the costs of the wedding cancellation; after all, it’s their son who did the damage. Lola goes through desperation, new dates with weird men, analysis, comfort eating/drinking, partying, and “finding herself.” And, naturally, in the end, she is older and wiser and the world is still turning.

This could have been a been-there-done-that film, except that the ending takes a new turn and the young actors give it a great boost. Greta Gerwig is a vivacious, expressive Lola, not a real beauty, but interesting, a type with whom we can easily identify. She is willing to admit and learn from mistakes. Hamish Linklater, as Henry, had already shown great promise in Miranda July’s film The Future. Swedish actor Joel Kinnemann is Luke. Zoe Lister-Jones plays friend Alice and she, together with her real-life partner Daryl Wein, wrote the script. Wein directed. All of the participants live (or have lived) in NYC and both Lister-Jones and Wein admitted that they relied on their own experiences for much of the plot. New York City is almost a main character in its own right. Filmed in Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill, DUMBO, apartments in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the 100-year-old Russ & Daughters fish and appetizer shop. It’s comforting to know that the next generation of film makers is ready to go, as evidenced in this fun film, good for a relaxing evening. (Becky Tan)

Starts December 13

Original language: English

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