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Marshall Fine

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Movie Review: Lola Versus

Posted: 06/08/2012 7:44 am

Greta Gerwig is a cross between a younger Chloe Sevigny and a young Meg Ryan. She's somehow backed into semi-"It" girl status, at least among boosters of a certain segment of independent film.

She comes off mostly as off-puttingly self-pitying and mopey in Lola Versus, a self-consciously quirky-moody rom-drom. Rom-drone is more like it. Here's a movie that has to compete for your attention WHILE you're watching it.

Directed by Daryl Wein, whose last film was the drearily similar Breaking Upwards, Lola Versus stars Gerwig as a young woman who is finishing her post-graduate degree and working part-time as a waitress at her parents' restaurant, who wakes up one morning to a proposal from her boyfriend (Joel Kinnaman).

But when her fiancée bails on the marriage three weeks before the wedding, Lola finds herself in a tailspin. She turns hermit at first, then decides to relaunch herself, making a series of bad decisions and undermining her good choices with more disastrous ones.

Through it all, she wanders around Manhattan, whining to her parents (Debra Winger and Bill Pullman) and her horny best friend (Zoe Lister Jones, who has great timing but needs better material). She eventually drops the barrier against a best friend (Hamish Linklater), even as she finds herself giving in to a persistent suitor (Eben Moss-Bachrach).

It's all like an extended episode of Girls, minus that series' self-lacerating sense of humor. Or any sense of humor. Watching Lola Versus, you mostly want to say to this young woman, "It's amazing what they can do these days with antidepressants."

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