9. Lola Versus
The fragmented title Lola Versus practically invites snarky writers like me to complete the phrase with a summation of our criticisms. Indeed, the longer title Lola Versus the Writing seems apt, for while the main character struggles with love, sex, friendship, identity, and more, her fiercest antagonist is undoubtedly the horrendous script she’s been saddled with. A script that, by the end of the film, made me loath Lola and every single person in her frustrating mess of a life, despite fine performances from Greta Gerwig and others. Lola Versus is a downright annoying film, a shrill and self-satisfied mess of a movie that starts on decent foundations, only to spiral further and further down a rabbit hole of bad jokes, lifeless quips, flaccid romantic intrigue, and irritatingly dumb character decisions. There is potential here, but most of it goes unrealized in a sea of frustrations that make Lola Versus one of 2012’s most exasperating movies.
There have been far worse children’s films than Ice Age: Continental Drift, even this year, but few that make me so depressed about Hollywood’s utter contempt for young moviegoers. If Ice Age – a franchise that started with a genuine artistic vision and nothing but respect for its audience – can fall this far, can become this lazy, pandering, and blatantly commercial, then what reason is there to hope that anyone in this business will ever start viewing children as anything other than stupid, oblivious money-printing machines? Continental Drift has nothing to offer children or their parents but a bland story, recycled character beats, bored humor, and inflated 3D ticket prices. No lessons, no insight, no substance whatsoever. The most a child could possibly gain from watching this film is a few cheap chuckles aimed at a goofy squirrel. I believe filmmakers must aim higher. I believe children deserve so much more.
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