Review – And Then Came Lola

by James Olsen for

Co-Directed by Ellen Seidler and Megan Siler the film is about Lola (Ashleigh Sumner), who has a great job as a photographer and a beautiful girlfriend in Casey (Jill Bennett). She also has the inability to get anywhere on time. One day, Lola is woken from a nap by a phone call from a desperate Casey, who is about to meet a client and needs Lola to retrieve the latest set of photos from the developer and deliver them to the bar where the meeting is taking place. All of this needs to happen in the next hour. One other thing Lola seems to have is a “Restart” button on her life. As things go badly, she starts over again with the phone call and gets another chance to get things right. In the process, she subconsciously learns each time and avoids the previous mistakes, only to have new obstacles appear.

As a lesbian take on Run, Lola, Run, this film has both its high and low points. This is especially evident when comparing the two, which is hard to avoid if you’ve seen the original. As Lola encounters various people, we see still photos of their personalities in this instance, often used in a more humourous way than in the original. The use of heavy make-out and simulated sex scenes to separate the attempts adds a layer of sexuality that was not present in Run, Lola, Run. Whether this is a good or bad thing will depend on the viewer. I appreciated it for the sensuality of the shots, but it did feel out of place.  Part of the beauty of Run, Lola, Run was that it was only Lola that changed her methods each time, while everyone else repeated the same motions every time. In this film, everyone acts and responds differently, which almost makes you wonder what the point of using this storytelling method in the first place.

Cast drawing by LOLA animator Jett Atwood

As Lola, Ashleigh Sumner does a great job. She exudes charm, and makes you feel Lola’s desperation to get the task accomplished. Jill Bennett gives a decent performance as Casey, although at times she is definitely underperforming. There is the sense that she can do so much better than we are seeing, which makes her off-scenes that much harder to watch. In terms of Cathy DeBuono as Danielle, Casey’s client and ex-girlfriend, the less said the better.

At the end of the first act, I was loving the story and its take. By the end of the second act, I no longer wanted to see Lola and Casey together, but was still having fun. And as the third act went on, I found myself checking the time to see how much longer was left to the film. For the most part this is a fun film, but, as with Jill, you know that there is far better potential than we are seeing.

James Olsen is an avid photographer who loves film, TV, music and just about anything in the arts. He hails from out East but calls Toronto his home.

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