TIFF ’15: ‘Lolo’ is clever, charming, and a little disturbing

LOLO Top Ten 2

Delpy Boon LoloLolo
Written by Julie Delpy & Eugénie Grandval
Directed by Julie Delpy
France, 2015

Fans of Julie Delpy’s work will be happy to know that her sixth directorial feature Lolo, contains all of the style, wit, and charm offered in her earlier films. For the majority of Lolo’s ninety-nine minute run time the film serves as a light-hearted and fun romantic comedy filled with charming characters and clever dialogue. However, Lolo takes an odd turn towards the end of the movie, veering off the rom-com path and clumsily venturing into darker territory.

Violette is smart, successful, attractive, and also at forty-five years old hopelessly single and teetering on the brink of desperation. When a friend pushes Violette to take a chance on a man several rungs below her on the Parisian social status ladder, she relents and reluctantly goes out with the handsome yet unsophisticated Jean-René (Dany Boon). The unlikely couple fall head over heels for each other but there is a major obstacle. As if finding love at forty-five isn’t difficult enough, Violette’s diabolical son Lolo (Vincent Lacoste) refuses to let any man come between him and his mother.

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Lolo is a clever film with snappy dialogue and packed with plenty of laughs. While the film features solid acting from its three leads, Boon’s performance as Jean-René is particularly memorable. Although cast as a country bumpkin in the eyes of the ultra-chic Parisians, Boon never embraces the role of a fool. Jean-René is charming, sophisticated, and clever in a manner which endears him to the audience and makes them buy into Violette’s attraction.

Delpy stumbles while handling Lolo’s grim subject matter and the film’s whimsical rom-com elements start to buckle under the weight of the movie’s darker elements. Overall Lolo is sharper than most romantic comedies and approaches middle age love with a wry wit and seasoned sense of humor tailored for the grown and sexy.

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