Making her dramatic film debut in the English-language remake of a lauded French film should have been a sure thing for "Hannah Montana" superstar Miley Cyrus, but instead, the 2010-shot production "LOL" was delayed for over two years. On its opening week, the movie only grossed around $400-per-theater. On the eve of its descent to DVD/Blu-ray, we brave these troubled waters to tell you just how bad this movie could really be.
"We're just tryin' to live, love, and laugh out loud, which is nice because my name is Lola, but everyone calls me LOL."
Yes, that's the kind of movie "LOL" is, the kind where Miley Cyrus narrates an opening montage with a pun on her own character name, a pun about as close to being clever as Florida is to Seattle.
Right away, when Lola shows up in slow mo, flanked by her two best gal pals Janice (Lina Esco) and Emily (Ashley Hinshaw), there's something notably off about Miley's screen presence. Imagine two hot models walking and laughing with their arms around a mannequin and that might tip you to how eerie it is.
After her boyfriend cheats on/dumps her with a casualness usually reserved for ordering a pizza, Lola bonds with her neurotic, pot-smoking mom Anne (Demi Moore) by spooning with her in bed, the sight of which should make at least one pervert out there very happy.
Turns out the mom and daughter are both going through romantic upheavals in their lives, with Anne secretly still sleeping with ex-husband/Lola's dad Allen (Thomas Jane), while Lola realizes her bestest guy friend ever Kyle (super emo Douglas Booth) may be the real stud for her.
Kyle and Lola grow closer in a series of montages that have all the emotional weight of a JCPenny commercial. They're grow closer, separate, get back together, etc. You know the deal.
The movie is erratically edited and shot by the maker of the original French language version from 2008, Lisa Azuelos, to the point where you'll wonder if you're watching an early rough cut or a finished film. On different days, Lola writes revealing entries in her diary, but wears the same clothes. The camera darts around like shots were never blocked.
There are a few funny gags, including one involving novel use of a chicken during cybersex, not to mention Marlo Thomas as the Granny who still knows how to party. Still, the wealthy Grosse Pointe teens are so vapid and shallow, it's impossible to care when they get bummed, defriended on Facebook, or have their phone privileges taken away. That's about as high as the stakes go. Even the token weirdo, Max, is just "Step-Up" series dancer Adam G. Sevani (channeling Michael Cera as hard as he can), really just another cool guy in nerdface.
It all culminates in a romantic class trip to Paris where Lola and Kyle finally do the deed, and Anne confronts her daughter about her reckless teenage ways. Any relatability is purely coincidental... as is any actual laughing out loud.