March 11, 2016 — More love letters to Lolo.
Katie Walsh of ArcaMax and Tribune News Service writes:
“If you were worried about the fate of the smart romantic dramedy, which seems to have been banished from American movie studios — don’t worry. The genre is enjoying expat life, alive and well in France. A few of these have reached American shores in recent years, and Julie Delpy’s “Lolo,” is the most recent addition. This lighthearted but soulful look into the complications of mid-life dating will scratch that rom-dram itch with its frank and funny wisdom.
“Delpy, who co-wrote and directed the film, stars as Violette, a 45-year old Parisian woman, a fashion art director and single mom to 20-year-old Eloi, aka Lolo (Vincent Lacoste). During a girls’ spa vacation in Biarritz, she hooks up with divorced Jean-Rene (Dany Boon), and the one night stand turns into a longer term fling, and then even more serious when he moves to Paris for a new job. There’s only one person who isn’t thrilled about the new love: Lolo himself.
“Violette is unable to see Lolo as anything other than her bouncing baby boy, and the way she speaks to and about him makes it seem as if he’s a much younger child. In fact, he’s a caustic, deadpan hipster, a struggling artist who remains on mummy’s teat, crashing at her apartment, lithely lolling about in pastel underpants, munching on the “eggs and soldiers” she cooks for him. It’s no wonder that he bristles at the new man in mom’s life, and a country bumpkin at that — an affront to the urbane Lolo. He quickly sets to scheming to break them up.
“The entanglement that Lolo weaves drives a wedge between Violette and Jean-Rene, but Delpy wisely demonstrates how small and silly misunderstandings can lead to larger conflicts among two adults who have their own lives, their own romantic histories and their own baggage. Lolo causes mischievous chaos, scattering seeds of doubt that grow toxic in any relationship.
“Unfortunately, “Lolo,” falters slightly when it drastically escalates his meddling from mildly irritating to essentially criminal, severing the film’s loose grasp on reality, and plunging the light romantic romp into much darker territory. The Freudian themes let loose in the film’s final act are teased at a few times, but a deeper exploration throughout would have offered more insight into Lolo’s motivations, which are a mystery until the very end.
“Delpy is luminous and effervescent as always, and shares an easy chemistry with Boon as the bumbling but well-intentioned naif. Some of the funniest moments are between Delpy and her best friend Ariane (Karin Viard), which are uncensored and pleasantly vulgar in the best of ways, reminiscent of the girl chats on “Sex and the City.” Lacoste plays the droll antagonist perfectly, almost never breaking from his cool, expressionless gaze. The trio makes for an unconventional love triangle not often explored on screen, and Delpy brings an unflinching perspective to the realities of balancing new love and motherhood, even while playing it for laughs.”
Lolo opens today in New York. Click here for times and locations.