Just like a real life break-up, Lola Versus is full of tears, revelations and the occasional cringeworthy moment of pure histrionics. Directed by Daryl Wein, this unconventional romantic comedy stars Greta Gerwig as a freshly dumped 29-year-old who was ready to enter her 30’s as a married woman just three weeks earlier, but ends up completely lost and confused when her fiancé Luke, played by Joel Kinnaman, gets cold feet and leaves her. In an effort to cope, she proceeds to engage in a series of mishaps and adventures that, inevitably, end up creating more problems for her rather than solutions.
Marketed as this year's (500) Days of Summer, Lola Versus is a more mature and less quirky tale of losing and finding love in this day and age. The best and worst thing about the movie is that it feels like watching an actual break-up. All the beats (getting dumped, rebounding, calling up the ex, hooking-up with random people, etc) have probably happened to you, or someone you know, and this makes the film both completely relatable but also difficult to watch at times. Being able to relate to a film always gives it bonus points, but perhaps going through the messiness of a break-up is enough to handle in real life already and doesn't need to be rehashed on screen.
The standout highlight of the film is Gerwig, who is both lovable and believable as a woman looking for life's answers in all the wrong places. Her honest and relatable character makes you wish you could reach out, give her a hug, and tell her to maybe think first before jumping into bed with the next guy she sees. Her normalcy is contrasted with her best friend Alice's (played by Zoe Lister Jones) crude yet hysterical ways (“I gotta go wash my vagina”), making them a balanced yet somewhat obvious duo. The majority of the movie's laugh-out-loud moments are delivered by Jones, making her the much appreciated comic-relief during the more intense emotional scenes.
Just like any other female (or male) who gets dumped three weeks before the wedding, Lola hooks up with some nearby prospect – her ex's best friend Henry (Hamish Lanklater) and a guy she meets at the fish store. Then there's her ex himself, to whom she inevitably bumps into constantly. None of the men appear to be particularly good matches for her, revealing how her newfound singlehood may be the obvious (although of course not to her) answer she's been desperately looking for.
The film's emotional honesty and lovable main character make it enjoyable enough to watch, but like a break-up, only needs to be experienced once in order to learn from before you move on.