At the moment there are few greater clichés in the media than the freaking out single woman on the cusp of 30. Of course clichés are clichés for a reason worth exploring even through the lens of just one or two women as in Lola Versus. Unfortunately while the intention behind Lola Versus isn't that we should all be happily married by the age of 30 it still fits into the same rubric of all those "Why You're Not Married" books.
Lola (Greta Gerwig) has a gorgeous fiancé Luke (Joel Kinnaman) and they live in a giant loft together the kind of dreamy NYC real estate that seems to exist primarily in the movies. Just as they're planning their gluten-free wedding cake with a non-GMO rice milk-based frosting Luke dumps her. It's cruelly sudden — although Luke isn't a cruel man. Lola finds little comfort in the acerbic wit of her best friend the eternally single Alice (Zoe Lister-Jones) who is probably delighted to see her perfectly blonde best friend taken down a peg and into the murky world of New York coupling. Lola and Luke share a best friend Henry (Hamish Linklater) a messy-haired rumpled sweetheart who is kind and safe and the inevitable shelter for Lola's fallout. Her parents well-meaning and well-to-do hippie types feed her kombucha and try to figure out their iPads and give her irrelevant advice.
Lola Versus is slippery. Its tone careens between broad TV comedy and earnest dramedy almost as if Alice is in charge of the dirty zingers and Lola's job is to make supposedly introspective statements. Alice's vulgar non-sequiturs are tossed off without much relish and Lola's dialogue comes off too often as expository and plaintive. We don't need Lola to tell Henry "I'm vulnerable I'm not myself I'm easily persuaded" or "I'm slutty but I'm a good person!" (Which is by the way an asinine statement to make. One might even say she's not even that "slutty " she's just making dumb decisions that hurt those around her just as much as she's hurting herself.)
We know that she's a mess — that's the point of the story! It's not so much that a particularly acerbic woman wouldn't say to her best friend "Find your spirit animal and ride it until its d**k falls off " but that she wouldn't say it in the context of this movie. It's from some other movie over there one where everyone is as snarky and bitter as Alice. You can't have your black-hearted comedy and your introspective yoga classes. Is it really a stride forward for feminism that the clueless single woman has taken the place of the stoner man-child in media today? When Lola tells Luke "I'm taken by myself. I've gotta just do me for a while " it's true. But it doesn't sound true and it doesn't feel true.
In one scene Lola stumbles on the sidewalk and falls to the ground. No one asks her if she's okay or needs help; she simply gets up on her own and goes on her way. It's a moment that has happened to so many people. It's humiliating and so very public but of course you just gotta pick yourself up and get where you're going. In this movie it's a head-smackingly obvious metaphor. In one of the biggest missteps of the movie Jay Pharoah plays a bartender that makes the occasional joke while Lola is waiting tables at her mom's restaurant. His big line at the end is "And I'm your friend who's black!" It would have been better to leave his entire character on the cutting room floor than attempt such a half-hearted wink at the audience.
Lister-Jones and director Daryl Wein co-wrote the screenplay for Lola Versus as they did with 2009's Breaking Upwards. Both films deal with the ins and outs of their own romantic relationship in one way or another. Breaking Upwards a micro-budget indie about a rough patch in their relationship was much more successful in tone and direction. Lola Versus has its seeds in Lister-Jones' experience as a single woman in New York and is a little bit farther removed from their experiences. Lola Versus feels like a wasted opportunity. Relatively speaking there are so few movies getting made with a female writer or co-writer that it almost feels like a betrayal to see such a tone-deaf portrayal of women onscreen. What makes it even more disappointing is how smart and likable everyone involved is and knowing that they could have made a better movie.
The Sideways star, 49, finally got the guts to pursue his lifelong dream after he finding fame.
But after weeks of training, Church was thrown off his bull in a painful accident that left him nursing a broken pelvic bone.
He says, "When I was a kid I was like, 'Bull rider guys are the most courageous humans on earth!' So then I went to a bull riding school and I broke my pelvis the last day of the school."
The incident forced Church to give up the dangerous hobby after it proved too risky for his acting career.
He adds, "I had to go straight from the school to the airport to fly to New York to do some publicity stuff. And as soon as I got off the plane to New York I couldn't even stand up. I was like, 'You might as well take me to Lenox (Hill) hospital. Something was broken in my core region. My buttocks had swollen to french loaves of bread!"
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 10, 2000 - Want to get the goods on an "Ally McBeal" co-star's "undisclosed medical condition"? Then get thee to a supermarket and guiltily pick up the Feb. 15 edition of the Star -- wherein said "Ally McBeal" co-star seemingly spills the beans her very own self.
According to the article, tastefully titled "'Ally McBeal' Beauty Locked Up in Psycho Ward," actress Lisa Nicole Carson, who plays Ally's roommate Renee Radick on Fox's hit legal-eagle series, says she required hospitalization after smoking "a joint that was laced with PCP."
"I think the joint may have triggered a collapse in my nervous system," Carson is quoted as telling a Star reporter. "Now I'm here drinking lots and lots of water and trying to get the drugs out of my system."
The "here," according to the Star, is (or was) New York's Lenox Hill Hospital, where the 30-year-old Carson was allegedly admitted to a special ward.
Fox deferred comment on the report to Carson's publicist. A Hollywood.com phone call to said publicist went unreturned.
But last week, Carson's reps did disclose that the actress had recently completed a two-week hospital stay. The official statement on the topic of her "undisclosed medical condition" was devoid of detail. While Carson was seen (briefly) on Monday's edition of "Ally McBeal," it has been said that series producers are writing around her character for the time being.
As for Carson's take on the situation? "I'm [a] honky-tonk woman," she says in the Star. "I used to sing in a rock band and drink whiskey straight out of the bottle. I love my mommy and daddy, and when I'm good I'm very good, but when I'm bad I'm very bad. I'm very good at being very bad."
LEO WATCH: Okay, he wore (or so we're told) a gray suit and matching tie. He smiled for photographers. He nobly declined the requests of those who implored, "Leo, kiss me quick!"
We speak, of course, of Leonardo DiCaprio, in London on Wednesday for the Euro premiere of "The Beach." (The flick washes ashore in these parts on Friday.)
The red-carpet affair featured the U.K. version of the A-list crowd (which reads more like the lineup for a "Behind the Music" marathon): A Spice Girl (Baby); the guy who used to sing in Simply Red; and a couple of ex-Duran Duraners.
What -- nobody from Big Country?
'BEACH' BUMMED: Don't ask Ewan McGregor about "The Beach."
According to the British magazine The Face, McGregor suggested that the filmmakers behind "The Beach" -- the same team he'd done "Trainspotting" and two other flicks for -- had gone for the obvious commercial choice in casting DiCaprio.
Asked if he felt disrespected by McGregor, DiCaprio reportedly answered: "Yeah. You know, yeah, absolutely."
Here's the ironic twist: DiCaprio has been rumored for the role of Anakin Skywalker in "Episode II" of the "Star Wars" series. Should he be cast, he'd be playing opposite McGregor (who starred in "Episode I" as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi). And as fans know, Anakin will later become Darth Vader and, um, kill Obi-Wan. That's gotta hurt.
We feel for you, Ewan.
DON'T KISS, DON'T TELL: Don't ask Michael Douglas about love. Not when he wants to talk war.
At a recent interview with reporters to discuss his upcoming film "Wonder Boys," Douglas, 55, was speaking passionately about disarmament, according to Reuters. But when an impatient journalist blurted, "So how did you meet Catherine?" (as in Catherine Zeta-Jones), Douglas retorted, "At a nuclear rally." He complimented the reporter on not even bothering to make a transition.
"You really are bored, aren't you?" he asked.
Later, Douglas finally allowed that he met Zeta-Jones, now 30, by arranging a meeting through a friend because he was so impressed with her in "The Mask of Zorro."
And now back to the disarmament issue ...
QUICK TAKES: Looks like Whoopi Goldberg will exercise her hosting chops again -- but not at the Oscars. While Billy Crystal returns for another Academy Awards engagement, Goldberg has been tapped to host the Screen Actors Guild Awards on March 12 in Los Angeles. It will be aired on TNT ...
... In New Orleans, a federal appeals court stood behind Oprah Winfrey Wednesday, ruling that the TV talk queen did not defame the cattle industry in a 1996 show that sparked a headline-making 1998 veggie-libel trial.
... More fun at the Happiest Place on Earth. In Delaware on Wednesday, an appeals court ruled that Disney shareholders do have the right to sue the Magic Kingdom over that $140 goodbye package Michael Ovitz received when he left the company in 1997 after a grueling, um, 15 months on the job.
...Ain't it cute? Kirsten Dunst's prom date will be actor Josh Hartnett, her co-star from the upcoming "The Virgin Suicides." The matchup happened when Dunst asked Seventeen magazine entertainment editor Michelle Shapiro for date suggestions. Shapiro immediately walked up to Hartnett, who answered: "Sure."
MUSIC BEAT: D'Angelo's "Voodoo" spends a second turn at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart this week. Overall, the Top Five was virtually unchanged from last week: No. 2 was Santana's "Supernatural," Dr. Dre's "Dr. Dre 2001" held at No. 3 and Celine Dion's "All the Way ... a Decade of Song" stayed at No. 4. Christina Aguilera's self-titled album jumped to the No. 5 spot.
In singles action, the new No. 1 is "Thank God I Found You" by Mariah Carey's collaboration with Joe and 98 Degrees. Rounding out the Top Five: "I Knew I Loved You," by Savage Garden; "What a Girl Wants," by Christina Aguilera; "Get it on Tonite," by Montell Jordan; and "Smooth," by Santana, featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox20.