Elevate Difference

And Then Came Lola

Based loosely on the art-house classic Run Lola Run, And Then Came Lola shows photographer Lola’s desperate attempt to get to a crucial meeting on time, with her girlfriend’s career and their relationship on the line if she fails. Like the title character of Run Lola Run, Lola will get three chances to get it right, with the action resetting to the beginning after each of the first two attempts. Interspersed within and between Lola’s obstacle-filled journeys through the streets of San Francisco are on-the-couch moments with the five main characters of the film, who divulge their romantic entanglements and issues to a therapist who is more involved in the story than it first appears.

As is the case with many small-budget independent films, the technical aspects of And Then Came Lola leave a bit to be desired. The mediocre quality of the sound, lighting, and camera work can be distracting at first, but generally fade into the background once the story unfolds.

The acting ranges from mediocre to good without any really great moments, though the chemistry between Jill Bennett (as Lola’s girlfriend Casey) and Cathy DeBuono (as Casey’s ex-girlfriend Danielle) is definitely a bright spot. It is always a treat to see these two together on film as their real-life love for one another produces amazing on-screen fireworks. Unfortunately, connecting with the film requires sympathy for Lola (played by Ashleigh Summer) and her relationship with Casey, but the relative lack of chemistry between Lola and Casey leaves you rooting for Danielle.

As for the plot, while the resets of Lola’s journey are interesting (if unoriginal), the interconnectedness of the lesbodrama at the heart of the film is more than a little cliché in the lesbian film genre. Here it is difficult to tell whether cliché is completely a bad thing; however, as there is no small amount of truth in the film’s representation of the insularity and near incestuousness of the lesbian community. We lesbians do have a particularly bad habit of maintaining connections with our exes, and their exes, and their exes’ exes, and so on.

Although I recently saw And Then Came Lola on a list of the worst lesbian films, I don’t think I would go that far. It wasn’t Go Fish level bad, just a bit unsatisfying. Ultimately, it’s not a film I would watch again, considering the wide range of lesbian films now available, and it’s not one I’d recommend.

Written by: Melinda Barton, June 20th 2010