Lola Versus Movie Poster Image

Lola Versus



Hipster romantic dramedy has some sex, drinking, language.
  • Review Date: June 7, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 86 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main take away is that you can't love someone without loving yourself -- and, equally important, that you can't love yourself without learning how to love others. Also, good friends see you through the worst of times and enjoy, with you, the best of times. But you have to know how to be a great friend.

Positive role models

Lola and Alice are best friends and speak to each other with honesty and compassion.


Some yelling.


Some scenes show couples in the middle of sex (lots of kissing and moaning), though there's little nudity beyond bare backs and a super-quick glimpse of a backside. Lots of making out; some grinding.


Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," and "d--k."


Brands mentioned or spotted include the iPhone, Amsale, Lundberg, Kahlua, and Six Flags.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoke weed and drink often, sometimes to total inebriation. In one scene, a woman winds up in a strip club, drunk out of her mind.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Lola Versus is an indie dramedy that focuses on the lives of a 29-year-old who was left at the altar and her friends. They're all single, many are looking for love, and their love lives and sex lives are explored. A handful of scenes portray characters hooking up; there's plenty of making out and some grinding, but no nudity aside from bare backs and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it glimpse of a naked backside. Characters also swear ("s--t," "f--k," etc.), drink (sometimes to the point of inebriation), smoke pot, and quarrel.

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What's the story?

Lola (Greta Gerwig), a Ph.D. student and writer, is in love with her artist boyfriend, Luke (Joel Kinnaman). So it's no surprise that when he proposes to her, she readily accepts. But just when they're about to jet off for their destination wedding, Luke balks, sending Lola into a tailspin that leaves her drinking a little too much; eating outside of her usually disciplined, macrobiotic diet; relying heavily on the counsel of her loyal best friend (Zoe Lister Jones); and sleeping with both an old friend and a new acquaintance and being unsure of either. And then there's Luke, who still has a presence in her life.

Is it any good?


Gerwig has such an expressive face. When it's doleful, we're sad. When it's happy, we light up. This makes her the perfect lead for LOLA VERSUS, which captures the tumultuous months after a hard break-up. Lola Versus captures a lot of the weirdness and discomfort of the twentysomething years, when everyone's still trying to figure out which road to take and, more important, whether it leads to where they actually want to go.

That said, while Lola understandably aches a lot, Lola Versus is too self-conscious about it. Lister-Jones is awesome, but her character seems like a caricature, her dialogue too on-the-nose rat-a-tat. In fact, nobody except Lola seems clear and crisp. It's OK to ride along on the journey of someone who's lost, but let the audience get to know their fellow passengers beyond the superficial and the cinematically cute.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Lola Versus' twentysomething characters are depicted. Why do their romantic relationships seem fluid and confusing? Is this realistic or an exaggeration?

  • Does the movie deal with Lola's break-up in typical Hollywood fashion? What is it saying about the event?

  • Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships, as well as the real-life consequences of both drinking and drug use.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 8, 2012
DVD release date:September 11, 2012
Cast:Greta Gerwig, Joel Kinnaman, Zoe Lister Jones
Director:Daryl Wein
Studio:Fox Searchlight
Topics:Friendship, Great girl role models
Run time:86 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language, sexuality and drug use

This review of Lola Versus was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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