Teen movies have not exactly had the best of reputations in the past. Sure, there are some genuinely brilliant ones like Mean Girls or Clueless, but for every great teen movie there seems to about a dozen bad ones. The one we’re looking at today firmly fits into that category, as it’s a remake of an already not very highly regarded French film, and it stars Miley Cyrus. Now I don’t know about you, but when I first read that I rolled my eyes so hard they flew out of my skull. However, I’m never one for pre-judging, and I try to go into everything unbiased. So is LOL the push Miley Cyrus’ career needs to get her accepted as an actress by the mainstream public?
No. No it is not.
That may seem like showing my hand a tad early, but taking 30 seconds to read the plot synopsis of this film would have pretty much got the same message across. Miley Cyrus plays Lola, a teenage girl who just broke up with her boyfriend because he cheated on her. She finds this out because he comes up to her and basically tells her that, yeah, camp was great, I couldn’t contact because there was no reception, and I was hooking up with another girl. I’m barely paraphrasing too, that is pretty much exactly what he says. She is, of course, heartbroken, but she is surprised by her best friend Kyle who reveals that he might feel more than friendship towards her. Thus begins 97 minutes of melodrama to make Eastenders blush.
There are many, many problems with LOL, but let’s start with the smallest of them; the acting. It’s really rather terrible, especially from the ‘teenage’ actors (who, in typical teen movie fashion, all look 26). Miley Cyrus once again proves she is an awful actress who doesn’t have any business being in movies. The best friend and the ex-boyfriend, who I will refer to as Jesus Christ and Doctor Doom respectively, given that’s how they’re portrayed, are completely bland and have one character trait each, and appear not to have that many brain cells, considering Miley Cyrus’ character, who they are both chasing after, is really a bit of a bitch. She constantly doesn’t think of anyone other than herself, is completely oblivious or just doesn’t care about the ramifications of her actions, and when her mother finds out in her diary that she’s been taking drugs, denounces her mother as a ‘bitch’ and then moves out and goes to live with her father, because her mother invaded her privacy and caught her doing illegal activities! Last time I checked, that means you’re in the wrong, not your mother.
So the characters and the acting are two big, glaring issues, but here’s the biggest fault with this mess of a film: the dialogue. This movie has some of the most stilted, unnatural, unrealistic, and at times, downright hilarious dialogue possibly in the last decade. The conversations some of the characters have are so ridiculous it transcends the movie to dull mess to comedy gold. If you are looking for a film to just roast mercilessly, this should be your next port of call. Cyrus’ voice over also provides some extra laughs, as her shift between excited giddiness and melancholic angst about whether she should go for Jesus Christ and how much she hates Doctor Doom can sometimes be only a couple of scenes apart. LOL‘s dialogue is wonderfully silly and provides for some truly hilarious moments to have with your friends.
LOL obviously has ambition behind it. It was obviously written as a thought-provoking coming of age drama, but as Tommy Wiseau’s The Room was written as a romance for the ages, and as James Nguyen’s Birdemic: Shock and Terror was written as a respectful homage to Alfred Hitchcock, LOL fails spectacularly at it’s intentions and falls flat on it’s face for the amusement of all. It you like riffing on films, or just love to make fun of a bit of teenage melodrama, LOL is a film that doesn’t disappoint. If you’re still not convinced that this is a film you need to see, this is the tagline:
You can change your status, but not your heart.
How can you not love that?