There is a bigger message to “Lola Versus”, the follow-up to “Breaking Upwards” from writer/director team Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, but the filmmakers cleverly use conventional romantic comedy tropes to jumpstart the conversation. Greta Gerwig is warm, winning and genuine as Lola, a 29 year old New Yorker perfectly satisfied with how conventional and right on track her verge-of-30 life is going, who then appears to wake up from a great dream into reality when her fiance (Joel Kinnaman, in a fully realized performance that could have easily been reduced to one dimensional) panics and breaks up with her three weeks before their wedding.
What follows is one young woman’s search for true happiness, mostly through – what else? – a myriad of other romantic partners. Lola has a breakdown in her first attempt to go to a bar as a single woman, begins to imagine she has feelings for her best guy friend Henry (a particularly good Hamish Linklater) and agrees to date a creepy roller blader who sings along to Ani DeFranco in bed, all while contending with Kinnaman’s Luke who won’t leave her alone long enough for her to get over him. Meanwhile, every timid Lola has an outrageous best friend like Lister-Jones’ scene-stealing Alice, offering up her own brand of romantic advice like weed-in-a-bottle right before an important date and checking out the highest rated “Best bar in a bad neighborhood” on Yelp.