Character Building at the New York Premiere of Lola Versus

Published June 6, 2012

ABOVE: DARYL WEIN, ZOE LISTER-JONES, GRETA GERWIG AND JOEL KINNAMON. PHOTO COURTESY OF PATRICK MCMULLAN

“Being single builds character,” says Alice in an attempt to comfort her newly dumped friend, the titular Lola of Fox Searchlight’s Lola Versus. Unlike her character Alice, actress Zoe Lister-Jones is not single; rather she is dating writer/director Daryl Wein, with whom she co-wrote the script for the film. Fortunately for Lister-Jones, with her small stature and large voice, she seems to have lots of character—and is quite hilarious as Lola’s perpetually single BFF.

Lola Versus is the second “breakup” film (and film in general) co-written by Wein and Lister-Jones. In 2009, Lister-Jones and Wein played versions of themselves in Breaking Upwards; a film they wrote about their own breakup, after they had gotten back together. Lola Versus is much more conventional than Breaking Upwards, in that it follows the well-traveled girl-gets-dumped-and-becomes-a-better-person trajectory. There is even some nice man candy in the form of The Killing’s Joel Kinnaman. What saves Lola from being dismissed into this terrible subgenre abyss, however, is the indie credibility of its cast and crew—mumblecore favorite Greta Gerwig, the aforementioned Lister-Jones, Bill Pullman, SNL’s Jay Pharoah, and a wonderfully creepy Ebon Moss-Bachrach. “I wanted to play Lola,” Daryl Wein teased when we asked him if had such a cast in mind while writing the script.

The topic du jour at the film’s New York premiere last night was, unsurprisingly, unsuccessful relationships. “All the breakups between people in their 20s seem to start with ‘I just need to find myself,'” Greta Gerwig commented on the red-carpet. “Will I run for the soap next time I break up with some? I don’t think so,” she joked when we brought up another recent film in which Greta receives the relationship boot, Whit Stillman‘s Damsels in Distress.  “I wish I could live inside of a Whit Stillman movie, I’d be much cleaner.”

You can see more photos from the premiere here.

LOLA VERSUS COMES OUT IN THEATRES FRIDAY, MAY 8TH.