Lola Versus review (DVD)

Indie queen Gerwig is on typically fine form as neurotic New Yorker Lola, whose life collapses around her ears when her seemingly perfect fiance Luke (Kinnaman) dumps her.

The plot is virtually non-existent from there but Gerwig is as good company as ever, with her Lola making a string of terrible decisions that put her in awkward situations with best friends Henry (Linklater) and Alice (Jones). Lola bounces straight from her relationship with Luke into one with Henry, but matters are complicated by the fact the two chaps are mates as well. Inevitably, it doesn't work out.

Winger and Pullman pop up to good effect as Lola's super-relaxed and liberal parents Robin and Lenny, even encouraging her to throw a rave when she house-sits for them.

Lola Versus is occasionally prone to falling into the usual indie New York flick cliches - Henry is in a band, Lola works as a waitress - but Gerwig's Lola is so charming you can't help rooting for her to sort her life out. Lola does get it together eventually with the help of yoga and therapy - seriously, is anyone in American films NOT in therapy? - and Lola ends up taking the advice Henry gave her earlier in the film: Just be.

It's fair to say the film is slight and the supporting characters could do with being fleshed out more. Jones is particularly two-dimensional in the best friend role as Alice, which is surprising given she co-wrote the film with her partner Wein, who also directs with a lightness of touch. Gerwig carries it wholly on her shoulders, just as she has in previous movies such as Damsels in Distress, and surely it's about time she broke into the mainstream with a leading role.

There's more than enough laughs here to make it ideal for a quiet Sunday afternoon watch.

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Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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