Lola Versus (15)


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The Independent Culture

Greta Gerwig keeps acting her socks off in movies and the movies keep letting her down. Lola Versus isn't precious like Damsels in Distress, or insufferable like Arthur, but it is contrived and annoying in the way quirky independent romantic comedies so often can be.

Gerwig plays the gentle, slightly passive New Yorker, Lola, who, on reaching 29, finds her life in crisis. Her fiance (Joel Kinnaman) dumps her, she has rebound sex with her best friend Henry (Hamish Linklater), then alienates him by doing the same with a creepy architect.

The movie is co-written by director Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, who overdoes the kookiness as Lola's other best friend and fellow singleton.

On the plus side it's always good to see Debra Winger (as Lola's understanding mum), and the occasional line scores a bull's-eye: "Men are always looking for someone better, women are just looking for whatever works."

But the narrow plot it tills between self-pity and self-absorption (very New York) becomes an awful drag and an actor as talented as Gerwig really shouldn't have to do so much whining.