LOL? It means "laughing out loud" in text language.
It is also the name that Lola's friends have given her. However,
when it is time to go back to school after summer break, Lola
doesn't feel much like laughing. Arthur, her boyfriend provokes
her by telling her that he cheated on her over the summer. And
her gang of pals is very gifted at complicated matters. Just
like her mother, Anne, with whom life has become impossible
and not only because she has no idea what LOL means. That her
parents have divorced is one thing but that Anne treats her
teenage daughter like a child by lying to her ab out basic things
- like the fact that she is still seeing her ex-partner on the
sly or that a cop is interested in her - is another. As for
Anne, she wonders what on earth has happened to her sweet little
daughter. From fusion to confusion, mother-daughter relationships
simmer with love and plenty of LOL.
The French comedy “LOL” is very much like a soufflé, light and fluffy. Told through the eyes of a 15-year old girl, Lola (whose initials form the title of the film), it spans one year of her life in public high-school as she deals with love, relationships, and other assorted adolescent bumps. Yes, it’s not easy growing up, according to writer/director Lisa Azuelos, who apparently based the film on her own experiences as a teenager.
Though set in France, there is a distinct American vibe to the proceedings, especially the kind of things that Lola and her friends get up to without their parents’ knowledge. There are the wild house parties, the underage clubbing, and most of all the alcohol and drugs. It seems whether in America or France, we all learn to live a little dangerously in almost the same ways (hence the American remake now underway with Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore).
And we have the same kind of teenage problems too. Lola’s boyfriend, Arthur, tells her he cheated on her and acts all nonchalant about it. Lola begins to develop feelings for her close friend, Mael, who also happens to be Arthur’s bandmate, and that criss-cross of relationships just makes things more complicated. Worse still, Lola’s mother Anne (Sophie Marceau), begins to intrude into Lola’s personal life, worried that her daughter is getting out of control- in the meantime realising that her own views on female sexuality are discordant with her expectations of her daughter’s behaviour.
Lest you think that this is some heavy-going adolescent drama, don’t worry. It is still very much a comedy at heart, often romanticising their insouciant acts which cooler heads may beg for some form of redress. This is a film that embraces its ‘carpe diem’ spirit, that doesn’t judge less so admonish, and this carefree attitude makes for a light-hearted, if ultimately forgettable, experience. Indeed, there’s nothing in “LOL” that turns out particularly poignant, and before you know it, the three trimesters over which this movie unfolds has gone and passed.
Not that one suspects its target audience will mind. The cast is pretty, the music is intoxicating, and most of all, the energy is vibrant and infectious. There’s also a playful tone to it all, nowhere more evident than when Lola and her English classmates visit England as part of her school’s exchange programme and encounter some conservative English-folk. It encourages you to have fun, to indulge and to laugh-out-loud- really, it’s hard to resist even though it’s so fleeting that you won’t remember much of it by the time it’s over.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
The Dolby Digital 2.0 sounds flat most of the time, even in the scenes where Arthur's band is performing to a wowed crowd. Visuals are clean, but could do with more sharpening. What leaves much to be desired however is the oddly jerky visual transfer towards the second half of the movie.
by Gabriel Chong
on 27 July 2010