With her sixth film in which she has written, directed and starred, Julie Delpy continues to demonstrate a deft hand with farcical material in “Lolo.” At times compared with Woody Allen in terms of putting neuroses onscreen, Delpy creates a world in “Lolo” where 40-something love must contend with a man-child son harboring a mommy complex. Mixing romance with dark comedy and at times verbal raunch, “Lolo” stars a winning, multi-dimensional ensemble including Delpy as Violette, French writer-director-actor Dany Boon (“Asterix & Obelix: In Britain,” “Superchondriac”) as love interest Jean-Rene, Vincent Lacoste as son, Lolo, and Karin Viard and Violette’s best friend, Ariane.
Violette, who works in the Parisian fashion industry, is first seen vacationing with her best friend Ariane. Violette meets cute, nice guy Jean-Rene when he accidentally drops a large tuna in her lap while sitting at an outdoor cafe. Inviting the two women to a “Tuna Party,” Violette makes jokes about the country bumpkin Jean-Rene, but soon the two strike up a romance and are inseparable.
Following her to Paris, computer geek Jean-Rene is a bit lost in the City of Lights. But he’s in way over his head when it comes to Violette’s duplicitous, evil, 20-something, living at home son, Lolo. Violette is blind when it comes to her son who can do no wrong, even as Lolo tries to sabotage her relationship with Jean-Rene. Let the hijinks begin.
In an era where women are fighting to get their voices heard onscreen and off, it’s heartening to see Delpy continue her distinguished career as actor, writer, director. Having success with the earlier “The Countess,” “Two Days in Paris” and “Two Days In New York,” and the under-appreciated, “The Skylab,” Delpy doesn’t mince words when it comes to how difficult it is as a woman to get a film made. In the EPIX series, “The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem,” which chronicles the disparity of women directors, Delpy explains the difficulties of getting a film made, “If the climb for men is at a 60-degree angle, for us the angle is 80 degrees.”
Let’s hope she keeps climbing those mountains because with the entertaining, colorful “Lolo,” Julie Delpy once again proves her talents as a writer-director with an original voice.
Filmmaker Event: Julie Delpy will appear in person for a Q&A following the 7:10 p.m. screening on March 25 at Laemmle’s Monica Film Center in Santa Monica and on Sunday March 26 after the 7:10 p.m. screening at the Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills.
“Lolo” is 100 minutes, Not Rated, and opens March 25 in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Monica Film Center and Laemmle Music Hall theatres.