What director Joe Swanberg’s LOL lacks in ambition it makes up for in nuance. The film has the quality of something tended to by many affectionate hands, a houseplant that blooms slightly more than it sags. The story—or what little of a story there is—revolves around three twentysomething males and their fanatical, sometimes funny-ha-ha connection to technology. They always need to be online or on the phone—checking email, gawking at love interests stripping on the web, snapping pictures, or calming frustrated flames—and this compulsion wrecks their human relationships. Their absurd dependency to the machine reaches some kind of apotheosis of lameness when Alex (Kevin Bewersdorf), a struggling musician, is unable to find an A/C cable in order to connect to the Internet at a girl’s house, a dilemma that forces him to call a friend, Tim (Swanberg), so he’ll log on to his email account for him. If this sounds at all familiar to anyone, the film may resonate, and though the story’s vignettes pound the same note repeatedly, the director maintains our interest by gluing them together with multi-planed video snapshots of other iPeople looking into cameras and making strange noises. By incorporating their unique voices into the film’s fold, Swanberg rewrites do-it-yourself as do-it-for-us, deepening the scope of the film’s otherwise basic message about the emotional harm our addiction to technology perpetuates. It’s how a little film thinks bigger.
- 81 min
- Joe Swanberg
- Kevin Bewersdorf, Joe Swanberg, C. Mason Wells
- Joe Swanberg, C. Mason Wells, Kevin Bewersdorf, Brigid Reagan, Tipper Newton, Greta Gerwig, Kate Winterich
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