FILM: Lola Versus

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Lola Versus, the new, coming-of-age film starring Greta Gerwig as a newly single woman in New York, could have been a grating and self-involved re-hashing of a story that I’ve seen several times before. But instead, it is fresh, intelligent, endearing, and a bit relatable.

In the film, Gerwig plays Lola, a 29-year-old woman whose fiancée Luke (Joel Kinnaman) has just broken off their wedding a few weeks before the big day. After some initial shock, Gerwig, with the help of her best friend Alice (Zoe Lister-Jones), begins to start over again as a single girl in New York. She starts going out again and meeting new people, she begins seeing new guys, and she beings looking at her life in a different way.

Though emotional at times, the movie is also incredibly funny, mostly when it shows Lola dating new people, such as the quirky guy she meets at a deli who insists she purchase wild salmon, not just farm-raised, and who works as a prison architect. Her dating escapades turn a bit more emotional and serious though when she gets involved with Henry, a long-time mutual friend of both Lola and her ex-fiancée. There is something just so sweet and endearing about Henry’s character and a few of the intimate moments they share together onscreen.

What really makes this movie though is how the characters are not just likeable, but loveable, as I found myself genuinely caring about each of them. Where other TV shows and movies that are similar in concept have failed, like HBO’s Girls (too whiny and immature) and Sex and the City, (too rich and unrealistic) this movie is able to draw a sense of sympathy from its viewers, while also being relatable. Even characters like Luke, the ex-fiancée, are portrayed in a very human way. The only characters that I didn’t feel were too realistic or even important to have in the film are Lola’s parents (Bill Pullman, Debra Winger). As opposed to the other characters, her parents are a bit one-dimensional and never really seem to contribute much to the plot. This really is a minor detail though in an otherwise very well-made movie.

Though I would recommend this movie to 20- and 30-something women living in New York due to its relatable qualities, the film does deal with relationships and everyday issues that most people have been through, making it a highly-recommended film for all.

Lola Versus opens in theaters June 8,2012.

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Julie Kocsis is Associate Editor and a contributing writer of ShortAndSweetNYC.com. Living in Brooklyn, she works for Penguin Random House during the day and writes about rock bands at night. In addition to her many band interviews as well as album and concert reviews that have been published on ShortAndSweetNYC.com, she has also been published on The Huffington Post, Brooklyn Exposed and the Brooklyn Rail.

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