And Then Came Lola is a sugar rush of a lesbian movie.
Lola (Sumner) is a laid back photographer who’s on the verge of a romantic breakthrough with her new girlfriend, Casey (Bennett), who is the straitlaced Bert to Lola’s Ernie. As the film begins, we witness a fantastic sex scene between the two dissolve into a dream, as Lola’s phone interrupts her reverie. It’s Casey, and she needs Lola to pick up a set of all-important prints for a crucial business meeting with Danielle (DeBuono), who also happens to be Casey’s ex-girlfriend.
Lola runs out the door — quite literally — and encounters a tragic-comedy of obstacles keeping her from being punctual the one time she needs to be.
What follows is part Run Lola Run and part Groundhog Day. Lola encounters everything from her ex, to a feisty meter maid, an angry dog, a runaway subway car and the very possessive Danielle on her way to Casey’s aid. If this doesn’t sound frantic enough, keep in mind that the events have a way of occurring multiple times, with several outcomes — and that the filmmakers use a wild variety of cinematic techniques to keep things moving and shaking.
Lola breaks into animated sequences every so often, depicting an exaggerated version of the live action Lola’s hilariously bad luck. These little flights of whimsy are charming and cute, if a little jarring. There is also plenty of “from the couch” footage taken of the various characters talking about their feelings, their sex lives and their relationships, all under the guise of being in therapy.
Finally, Lola’s inner thoughts are presented via photographic montages (she is a photographer, after all), with great comic effect. In one scene, after being shunned by a saucy meter maid, she imagines a series of pictures showing Lola as a dominatrix, getting her revenge on the suddenly submissive meter maid.
These sequences are among the very best in the film — they’re funny, campy and wildly imaginative.
Yes, it’s frantic and hurried — but the excellent editing keeps the chaos in check.
It helps that the plot is quite simple — Lola has to meet Casey on time, or she may lose out on their relationship. Stylistically, it’s not unlike one of the later Angela Robinson-directed episodes of The L Word — there’s plenty of split screening and general wackiness, but everything comes together nicely.
The “therapy footage” makes perfect sense in context — since the film moves so fast, it’s a good way to introduce back-story on the characters and explain the complex web of relationships. We soon find out that Lola’s photography lab is run by her jealous ex girlfriend, Jen (Graham), and that Lola has a bit of a commitment problem.
It’s standard drama fodder, but presented creatively enough to be entertaining.
The love scenes are fairly plentiful for the 67-minute running time, and, without exception, they bring serious heat to the screen. Rather than just teasing a kiss or cutting the camera after ten seconds of necking (as so many lesbian films are wont to do), each sequence is realistic, sultry and exceptionally well done.
The actresses have fantastic chemistry — I hope this is not the last time they share the screen. – Danielle Riendeau