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Gerwig Saves Otherwise Rote ‘Lola Versus’

With its utterly conventional plot, sunny New York cinematography and loose, light-footed feel, “Lola Versus” might as well be a pilot for some new sit-com or serial drama — and, at the same time, it’s a sit-com or serial drama I’d watch. Our heroine, dumped but three weeks before her big wedding, makes a series of choices as a result of that change before kinda sorta getting life back on track again. The film, and the audience, however, both benefit from the presence of Greta Gerwig as Lola. Gerwig makes her likable, human, watchable — and to such a degree that even when the film dips and slips into cliché territory you’re glad to have Gerwig as your guide on the all-too familiar journey.

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Directed by Daryl Wein and co-written by Wein and his partner Zoe Lister-Jones, “Lola Versus” starts with a jostling bump with, even before the credits, Lola’s long-standing boyfriend Luke (Joel Kinnaman) proposing marriage, planning their wedding and then calling the whole thing off. Shattered, Lola stumbles into a series of mishaps — bad choices, bad dates, bad sex — with her friends and family gathered around her. The film’s funny and frank about relationships and sex, to its credit, and it manages to be clear-eyed without being cringe-inducing on both topics.

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