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"Lola Versus": Stoner Comedy Dares to Be Smart 

Wednesday, Jun 13 2012

Smart but spacey, naturally luminous and yet legitimately awkward, Greta Gerwig is perfectly cast in director Daryl Wein's romantic tailspin comedy as a manic mess whose coping mechanisms include juice cleansing one week, double-fisting 40s the next, and impulsively rebounding with a best male friend (Hamish Linklater) before showing up at her ex's loft to beg for weed. Directed by Wein from a screenplay by Wein and Zoe Lister Jones (who also co-stars as a diva pal), the film lurches as unevenly as its heroine, stringing occasional sharp jokes and sincere observations together with clothes-changing montages, real estate porn, and ill-advised expositional dialogue. But it gets looser, weirder, and better. About halfway through, a hilariously cringeworthy sex scene (set to Ani DiFranco, no less) brings Wein's gambit into focus: More than subverting or satirizing the modern lady-in-crisis movie, he has made a big, broad stoner comedy, shot and performed naturalistically, from a woman's point of view. Narratively, it's not a huge shock where the film ultimately goes, but there are a number of fun surprises along the way.

About The Author

Karina Longworth


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