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Film review: Lolo - Julie Delpy directs and stars in breezy comedy

Light and frothy story sees Delpy’s single mum character at long last have a shot at love, only for her jealous teenage son to pull all manner of stunts to sabotage her new relationship

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 7:47am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 7:47am

3/5 stars

French actress Julie Delpy has already proved herself adept at crafting both hipster romances, in the Before series she co-penned with Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke, and homespun comedies, with her self-directed 2 Days In Paris/New York films. All have dealt with the difficulties of modern-day relationships – and so it goes with her latest, Lolo, albeit a film aimed at a much broader audience.

A bright and breezy comedy, Lolo sees Delpy plays Violette, a Parisian entrenched in the fashion industry who hasn’t had a serious relationship since the one that spawned her now-19 year-old son, Eloi (Vincent Lacoste), whom she nicknames ‘Lolo’. When she meets Jean-René (Dany Boon), a down-to-earth IT programmer from the seaside town of Biarritz, it seems like she’s found a real shot at love.

Her scheming, spoilt teenage son doesn’t agree, with jealousy soon rearing its head as Lolo – unbeknownst to his mother, of course – pulls all manner of stunts to separate these two nascent lovebirds. His practical jokes, if that’s what you’d call them, are of the highly sophisticated sort – not least planting a virus in the software Jean-René has coded for a bank, causing untold havoc.

Delpy, who co-wrote the script with Eugenie Grandval, directs with the minimum of fuss, keeping the farce fast and funny. Boon, who in France is a noted actor-director himself, plays the low-key Jean-René with aplomb, while Lacoste manages to be somewhat sympathetic, despite his insufferable behaviour. Delpy is excellent too, as the neurotic sophisticate who seems oblivious to all around her.

There’s a top cameo from Karl Lagerfeld in one particularly strange scene, when Lolo spikes Jean-René’s drink and he gets a little too friendly with the white-haired fashion guru. Like this moment, there’s much that’ll leave you smiling in Lolo, even if it never leaves a particularly long-lasting impression.

Lolo opens on November 17

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