Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Directed by: Lisa Azuelos
Starring: Miley Cyrus, Douglas Booth, Demi Moore, Ashley Greene
Never was I more aware that I’m no longer a teenager than when I watched the cringingly awkward, lifeless and seemingly pointless film, LOL. At twenty-something I consider myself to be young enough to still appreciate teenage orientated plots (I enjoyed 17 Again, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Easy A…) and yet I felt about a million years old after watching the absurdity played out on screen in one of the worst films to be released this year.
LOL, as most of us are aware, is an abbreviation for ‘laugh out loud’, though in this film it also stands for the main character Lola, otherwise known as Lol. To put rest to any questions straight away – no, there’s nothing remotely laugh out loudish about this film…that is unless you consider the lack of storyline, direction and poor acting to be LOL-worthy. In that sense it would be branded hilarious.
To summarise the plot in one sentence, LOL is a story of young Lola who’s heart is broken by her cheating boyfriend but is soon pieced back together by her best-friend Kyle, who it turns out had feelings for her all along. Does that storyline sound familiar to anyone? It should – it’s only been done hundreds of times before. Of course there are some bumps along the way as the audience are steered through Lola’s life via social networking and texting, as well as following the quandaries that parents face whilst trying to connect with their children and help them make correct life choices.
Directed by Lisa Azuelos, who also wrote and directed the original French version of LOL in 2008, this could have been a quirky recreation exploring peer pressure and the plights and scrapes the modern day teenager faces whilst navigating school, romance and friendships. However it fell short in almost every sense, the end product was a sad and sorry excuse for a film.
The genre labelling gave completely the wrong impression. This is not a comedy; it’s barely even a romance. The script, much like the plot in general, lacked originality, spark and humour. Take a look at films such as Mean Girls, Juno and Superbad – they excelled because they had quick-witted and bold scripts, with dialogue that was plucky and unique. LOL was a poorly executed, humourless and monotonous version of all the bad teenage films that have been made before and it would have benefitted from someone like Diablo Cody or Tina Fey writing it.
The cast did nothing to redeem the dismal story. Miley Cyrus was flat and unexciting as Lola, proving to the world that her acting leaves much to be desired. She seemed unable to communicate any morsel of comedy and lacked sincere emotion. This is to be said for the entire ensemble. Despite the critics mixed opinions, I had previously liked Douglas Booth when he played the role of Pip in the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations. With scenes of grating adolescent petulance and a wince-worthy fake American accent, Booth lowered himself in what I can only imagine was a strategic move to break into Hollywood. Even Demi Moore, who should have at the very least been able to inject a speck of learnt drama to the film, failed miserably.
LOL didn’t seem to know where it was going or what it was trying to convey to the audience, resulting in a miscellany of mind-numbing scenes that were quite frankly degrading to the younger generation. I realise that it’s aimed at the technological, social-networking teenage demographic, but we should be giving teens a bit more credit. There are better and more imaginative ways to portray the modern day teenager, ways that don’t strip characters of wit and intelligence. If you want to see a better written portrayal of contemporary teenagers in society, one that is relatable and not demeaning, watch the TV series Awkward…it would be a much better use of your time than wasting it on something as lacklustre as the ironically titled LOL.