'Lola Versus' Review: Don't Ditch Your Friends If You Get Dumped

In 'Lola Versus,' a woman for once gets over a breakup WITHOUT the help of her friends.

Greta Gerwig as Lola and Joel Kinnaman as Luke in 'Lola Versus.'

We all have that one friend who went through the breakup she cannot stop talking about. If it was three weeks ago, you get it. It's still raw. If it was three months ago, okay. You figure she and her ex were together for awhile. She thought she'd found The One. Of course it still hurts. But after three months, well, it's time for your friend to shut up already, if you even hang out anymore. I know what I'm talking about, because I've been that friend talking about the breakup. A few too many times. And while I think sharing your emotions is an important part of friendship and of the healing process, I also think distracting yourself in some other constructive way is just as essential.*


The engaging, easy-to-watch Lola Versus, the latest film from the creative/romantic duo of Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, begins and ends with a birthday. It opens at the start of Lola's (Greta Gerwig) 29th year. She wakes up with her live-in boyfriend Luke (Joel Kinnaman) who teases that despite her "advanced" age, she still looks as sexy as a white J. Lo. Later, he proposes. We flash forward to three weeks before their wedding. Lola comes home all aglow from a bridal fitting, and Luke's sitting on the couch looking tortured. "I can't do this anymore," he says. The Writer/Director Couple Behind "Lola Versus" On Messy Breakups


Interestingly, we don't see the breakup itself. Perhaps it's because breakups are universal enough that we can fill in the blanks? Lazy filmmaking? I wasn't sure. Instead, we see Lola sitting on the toilet and weeping. Then we watch her move back to the apartment she had been subletting. She ends up running into Luke again and again. Sometimes he's contrite and says he just needed some space. Except not that much space. But just enough space to see someone else who wasn't his fiance. Ugh. 

Lola's lucky. She was able to move back into her old place. Her parents are sympathetic. And she's got friends. The hilarious Alice (Zoe Lister-Jones) assures Lola that being single builds character ... and then proceeds to complain about being single. The lovable Henry is (Hamish Linklater) also friends with Luke, but is practically captain of Team Lola after the breakup. Plus he's sensitive, attractive, and both emotionally and physically convenient. You know, the perfect person to sleep with when actually no, she shouldn't be sleeping with anyone.

Been there, done that, still have awkward text messages about it.

Everything in Lola Versus is overshadowed by the breakup — even the happy moments. Lola's life isn't going where she'd hoped, but she doesn't know how to turn the car around. Instead, she's self-destructive as her 30th birthday looms. She drinks too much. She doesn't work on her dissertation. She has sex with inappropriate men. And she alienates her friends. She can't be there for them because she's crawled into her own head and decided to hibernate for the winter. When they find love, she feels abandoned, not happy for them. So Lola gets dumped by her friends, too. Can you blame them?


You'll have to watch Lola Versus, in select theaters now, to find out just what happens. And if you happen to be newly single, maybe make it a date night ... with yourself. See a trailer and more info here.

* P.S. "Constructive" means fully-clothed and most likely, on your own.

Do you think friends are important in recovering from a breakup, or is it something you've just got to do on your own? 

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