'Frances Ha' is the movie I imagine Woody Allen would make today if Woody Allen wasn't 77 years old and ensconced in an impermeable bubble of wealth and fame. Unlike Woody's recent films -- some of which are actually pretty entertaining -- Noah Baumbach still feels in touch with, as David Bowie puts it in a song that makes an effective appearance in the film, modern love. His characters live on the Lower rather than the Upper East Side. They watch television instead of Ingmar Bergman movies. They struggle to make ends meet as artists but poo-poo potential jobs at 'Saturday Night Live' because "it's gone so downhill."
It's amazing how just a few weeks of 'Girls' can make a brand new feature film seem dated.
'Lola Versus' is a slightly-better-than-some but still phoney and trite romantic comedy set in an alternate reality New York City that is so well represented in bad low budget comedies future historians might actually believe it is real. To those in the sticks: we don't ALL spend our days moping on the High Line, picnicking in Brooklyn Bridge Park or jabbering about relationships in cafes and gyms. I don't want to alarm you, but it's true.
It's hard not to root for Greta Gerwig. Her natural charm elevated the so-so “mumblecore” movies of the mid-aughts and she's been turning in solid performances in both independent and studio pictures ever since.
Her newest one, 'Lola Versus,' is another chapter in the “dating-in-New-York-is-Hell” book, and offers a fine vehicle for her to be front and center. In it, Gerwig gets dumped by her fiancee just days before the wedding (fool!) and he friends, which actually include her ex, try and help her get back on her feet. I had an opportunity to speak with her in a very pink room in a SoHo hotel...
Greta Gerwig is an indie darling, currently the 21st century's Parker Posey. This year - having graduated from the "mumblecore" set of indie filmmakers, she's in Whit Stilman's 'Damsels in Distress,' Woody Allen's 'To Rome With Love' and now 'Lola Versus' for Daryl Wein for which you can check out the trailer...