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QUITE AN EMOTIONAL MESS

Lola Versus (R) (87 min.) - Lola Versus is a comic case study of a yearlong emotional meltdown for an about-to-turn-30 angsty, artsy New Yorker. While that might not sound entertaining, it is made so by star Greta Gerwig, who inhabits Lola with an endearing ease.

The about-to-turn-30 angsty, artsy New York couple behind the film, Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, have essentially thrown a pity party for Lola. (The duo wrote the screenplay, then Wein directed and Lister-Jones stepped into the role of Lola's best friend, Alice.) Massive tears are shed, too much alcohol is consumed, there's a bit of random sex, a bit of desperate random sex and Lola spends enough time lying on the floor moaning to qualify as a narcissistic mess.

That's what passes for a plot, yet it is almost enough because Gerwig is that distinctive and interesting of an actress to watch, especially when the story includes a lot of raw truth-telling. She is always game for baring her soul, even when it's not pretty - as in her turn as a Hollywood assistant type-occasional lover in 2010's Greenberg opposite Ben Stiller. Here that soul-baring, soul-searching is the centerpiece of the film. Not much else about Lola Versus matches that standard. (Woodlands 20 in Oldsmar, Veterans 24 and Citrus Park 20 in Tampa)

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times

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