“Lola” is about a woman’s journey to find out who she really is. You can tell this because about 20 minutes into the film, someone says to her, “Who are you Lola? What do you do?” Next thing you know, she’s off trying to find herself. It reminds me of how a TV sitcom will have conversation in the first few minutes about how Uncle Sid needs to quit being so uptight, and sure enough, that episode winds up being full of events that make Uncle Sid loosen up. (“What a coincidence!” the characters must think. “We were just talking about that very subject!”)
Lola (Sabrina Grdevich) is a carefree Canadian woman married to a normal, responsible man, Steve (Colm Feore), who is increasingly frustrated with her flightiness. She makes artsy clothes and sells them at a consignment store, parks the car illegally and gets it towed, strikes up conversations with strangers at bus stations; he has a job with clients and wears suits and stuff. It is Steve who demands to know what Lola is all about, and soon Lola wants to know, too.
One day she saves a gal named Sandra (Joanna Going) from getting hit by a car, and they strike up a strange friendship. Sandra is trouble with a capital T, you can tell, partly by the fact that she kisses Lola on the lips soon after meeting her, and partly because she owes money to a bad guy. Sandra hasn’t been back to her small home town in 10 years but is considering going now because her father has just died. In Sandra’s life, however, Lola sees an opportunity to start her own life over — or at least to get a better handle on things.
Writer/director Carl Bessai often seems to be working hard at achieving “moodiness,” with long, languid shots of Lola hitchhiking, for example. There are several scenes of people NOT talking. Rather than create a story with natural atmosphere, Bessai has resorted to forcing it.
Sabrina Grdevich is good enough in the title role, but not good enough to overcome the weak material. It’s an odyssey of self-discovery in which nothing happens. Some movies can be about the journey and not the destination, but this one hardly has either.
C (; )