To create a poignant and funny portrait of creative young New Yorkers trying to make their mark in Manhattan, writer/director Daryl Wein and co-writer Zoe Lister-Jones looked to their own lives and those of their peers for inspiration. The filmmakers were drawn to the idea of a contemporary romantic comedy with a spirited and authentic woman at its heart that would take the classic boy-meets-girl scenario and turn it on its ear. As Lola Versus begins, Lola’s fiance Luke breaks off their engagement just weeks before the wedding. Over the next 12 months, she slowly, sometimes awkwardly and often comically, adjusts to her new life as a single woman in the city.
We sat down at a roundtable interview with director Daryl Wein to talk about what it was like to write and direct a female-driven movie that tells a story in a fresh and intelligent way. He told us how he set about creating the unique voice and look of the film, how he and DP Jakob Ihre found fresh ways to show off New York City, why he cast Greta Gerwig in the lead role, and why he felt it was important to shoot the film in 35mm. He also discussed his and writing partner Zoe Lister-Jones’ next project tentatively titled Motherfucker.
Lola Versus is a comedic tale of love and loss among restless and ambitious young New Yorkers. An original new comedy from the creative team of Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, the film is a perceptive and sometimes uncomfortably close look at the absurdities of modern romance. Lister-Jones, who co-wrote the film’s script with Wein, plays Lola’s loyal best friend, Alice, whom Lola turns to for advice as her well-ordered world dissolves into a blur of romantic humiliations, professional blunders and alcohol-fueled antics.
At the press day for Lola Versus, we sat down at a roundtable interview with Lister-Jones to talk about her collaboration with Wein that was inspired in part by their experiences as a real-life couple in an open relationship. She told us why she found the role fun to play, how being able to both act and write has empowered her creatively, how her mother encouraged her to follow her heart and study acting despite the financial insecurities, how she’d like to direct in the future, and why she thinks emotional attachment and commitment are different between men and women. She also explained why she admires actress Meryl Streep and revealed her next creative project with Wein titled Motherfucker.
The trailer for Lola Versus has gone online. The movie stars Greta Gerwig as a young woman who gets dumped just before her wedding, and who must then struggle with her newly single life. Based on this trailer, your enjoyment of Lola Versus will vary based on how much you’ve enjoyed Gerwig work in the past. The jokes don’t seem particularly strong (there’s a My Best Friend’s Wedding reference), but I tend to like Gerwig even though she’s never blown me away in a movie. Hopefully, Lola Versus will be the film that does it.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer along with the new poster. The film also stars Zoe Lister-Jones, Joel Kinnaman, Hamish Linklater, Debra Winger, and Bill Pullman. Lola Versus June 8th.
Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones are a pair of upcoming filmmakers, perhaps best known at the moment as the writers/stars behind the clever romantic comedy Breaking Upwards. The duo just sold their pitch for the comedy Motherf***er to Fox Searchlight, which centers on “a man who falls in love with the mother of his girlfriend after she takes him home to meet her parents.” [Variety] Wein will direct, though it is not specified if he and Lister-Jones may again appear on-screen.
Meanwhile, another Wein/Lister-Jones script entitled Lola Versus made its way to the desk of Anne Hathaway, who has shown interest in the project. Unfortunately, we don’t have any further information on Lola. But keep your eye on these two so you can say you knew them before they were cool.