'LOL' – Funny For The Wrong Reasons
Full of cliches, predictable storylines and uninspired dialogue, LOL, starring Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore, is “laugh out loud” funny for all of the wrong reasons. Instead of falling under the expected “so bad it's good” category, it remained fixedly in “so bad” territory.
LOL tells the story of a teenage girl, Lola, who is looking for the typical adolescent trifecta — love, freedom, oneself — while trying to navigate the difficulties of friendship and family. Lola breaks up with her cheating boyfriend, falls for her best friend, and then breaks up with him believing that he cheated as well. Meanwhile, her mother, played by a predictable Moore, is struggling with a friends-with-benefits relationship with her ex-husband when she catches the attention of a handsome detective who seems too good to be true. Lola eventually realizes her best-friend-turned-beau didn't actually cheat and they happily make up while on a school trip to none other than Paris, the city of romance. Her mother is equally lucky in love, falling for the detective and drawing the boundaries between her and her ex. Yawn.
Cyrus and Moore play their characters well enough, but that isn't saying much considering they pretty much play themselves in real life — with the addition of a few memorized lines. Lola's multiple lash-outs against her mother, quickly followed by hugs and “I love you’s,” make their relationship seem superficial and scripted. Sure, it's normal for a mother and daughter to fight and make up, but did they have to so desperately hammer it into our brains in the most contrived way possible?
One would expect that a film titled LOL would include some clever uses of Generation Y forms of communication, but virtual interactions are reduced to instant messaging via Macs and the occasional text. Anyone familiar with contemporary technology and social media knows that those are fairly limited forms of communication in this day and age. A Facebook post and Tweet here or there would have been greatly appreciated.
Despite the less-than-enthralling performances and storylines in this movie, there is one standout character who makes it all less gruelling. Played by Adam G. Sevani, Max is the endearing geek who gets the girl in the end — popular, blonde Emily (Ashley Hinshaw), who initially only has eyes for her Trig teacher, Mr. Ross (Austin Nichols). Although this “rise of the underdog” subplot is of course highly unlikely, Max is a breath of fresh air amid all of his cookie-cutter classmates. His wild curly hair, thick-rimmed glasses and lovably quirky personality make him a unique addition to a school full of all-American clones that appear to have fallen straight out of a singing Gap commercial.
The DVD adds little to the movie itself, offering underwhelming bonus features like commentary from cast members Ashley Hinshaw and Lina Esco (neither of which are main characters), individual profiles of the cast that you might as well get on Google, and featurettes that were as forgettable as the feature. In other words, if you're looking for a fun and entertaining film to take your mind off of reality, don't count on LOL. All you will get is an hour and a half of sticky melodrama that will make you cringe more times than is acceptable, even for a teen movie that deserved to go straight to TV.