Last month, in reviewing “Damsels in Distress,” I opined that actress Greta Gerwig’s “earnest quirkiness” may leave viewers “irritated or besotted.” With “Lola Versus,” Gerwig tips the scales toward “besotted,” though the rest of the movie leans toward the irritating.
Gerwig plays Lola, a 29-year-old New Yorker in the middle of wedding-planning fever when her betrothed, Luke (“The Killing’s” Joel Kinnaman), dumps her. Lola retreats to her old apartment, takes solace from her free-spirited parents (Debra Winger and Bill Pullman), and gets cynical encouragement from her sarcastic gal pal Alice (Zoe Lister Jones) to get back in the dating scene. Among the prospects on that front is Lola’s longtime guy friend Henry (Hamish Linklater, the dorky scientist from “Battleship”).
The script — by Lister Jones and her husband, themovie’s director, Daryl Wein — zigzags through Lola’s awkward romantic efforts, with some all-too-familiar commentary about the dating scene in general.
Gerwig manages to make Lola winsome and charming, even when she’s in the whiniest, most self-destructive phases of her post-breakup life.
Opens today at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated R for language, sexuality and drug use; 87 minutes.