Starring Greta Gerwig, Hamish Linklater. Written by Daryl Wein, Zoe Lister Jones. Directed by Daryl Wein. 14A. 86 min. Opens June 15.
Worried about how you’re supposed to keep vicariously enjoying the lifestyles of underemployed Brooklynite hipsters now that the first season of Girls is nearly over? Fear not because this New York story has more than enough scenes of scruffy young narcissists bemoaning their quarter-life crises to see you through the lean times.
Most importantly, Lola Versus has a whole lot of Greta Gerwig, the reigning It Girl of American indie cinema. Having endured the company of both Ben Stiller in Greenberg and Russell Brand in Arthur, the go-to blonde has clearly earned a movie vehicle of her own, and director Daryl Wein does a commendable job of showcasing her signature mix of sincerity, anxiousness, and mildly goofy charm. Indeed, the filmmakers’ decision to enlist Debra Winger and Bill Pullman to play her character’s parents is a stroke of casting genius.
Gerwig stars as the titular Lola, a grad student who’s blindsided when her seemingly devoted fiancé, Luke (Joel Kinnaman), dumps her three weeks before the wedding. When not learning the ways of single folk from disgruntled pal Alice (Zoe Lister Jones, who co-wrote the script with Wein), Lola finds solace in the company of Henry (Hamish Linklater), a longtime platonic pal who may prove to be something more.
The vitality that Gerwig exudes in Lola’s loopiest moments is the movie’s greatest source of pleasure. Elsewhere, even she gets stymied by the script’s so-so stabs at screwball-comedy banter and surplus of blatant Carrie Bradshaw-isms (e.g., “I feel like men are always looking for someone better and women are looking for whatever works”). At least Lola Versus has the good sense to flaunt its airy inconsequentiality as if it were a houndstooth scarf.