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
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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