Welcome to the inaugural article in a series called You Put Me Through This is where the community of Screened chooses a horrendous, horrible, and hopeless film for me to suffer through. If you'd like to throw in a suggestions for a movie, make sure it's on Netflix instant for my convenience, and post via this thread. To start off I put myself through the Miley Cyrus high school movie called LOL: Laughing Out Loud.
Miley Cyrus is Lola, nicknamed LOL, a teenager in high school with divorced parents, a confused love life, and a complicated life. Lola was dating Chad but in the first scene of the movie is dumped after not talking to Lola all summer and for "hooking up" with someone else. She retreats among her friends for awhile and quickly finds new romantic feelings in Kyle, her best guy friend who just so happens to be Chad's best friend and band mate. It gets even worse when a lie let's everyone think Lola has slept with someone, something Chad wants to do with Lola but Lola refuses, and now she is caught between a lie and reality. All the awhile Lola's relationship with her mother has become strained and Lola learns her mom has started to hook up with their divorced father, something she finds disturbing for some unexplained reason.
Somehow it gets further complicated when Kyle also cheats on Lola, but not really because it's all one big misunderstanding. What follows is another series of mishaps and misunderstanding forcing along one complicated romance after another for reasons and with characters you don't really know. Even Lola's mother, Anne who is played by Demi Moore, gets into a love triangle with a police officer love interest and her ex-husband. Once every character is thrown into just another over-complicated love story it all feels horribly forced.
Then it's all cleared up for Lola and Kyle and they find themselves in France for spring break on a school trip. It almost feels like the film got itself a sequel in the middle of the film. We're even treated to a montage of the kids and horrible French cliches like snails for dinner. The story doesn't feel written for teenage girls but written by teenage girls. Moving from one complicated story line and relationship to another with your first time having sex happening in Paris. Where you are SO IN LOVE with one guy, then he cheats on you, then you're SO IN LOVE with your best friend.
It all comes to a fervor for Lola (not really though cause the worst thing ever has happened 2-3 times already) when her mom accidentally reads Lola's diary. The violation of trust is a major event for Lola who quickly gets over it after a night over at her dad's place. Trust restored we skip to the battle of the bands for some reason where Kyle, Chad, Kyle's strict dad who hates him playing music, and the Easter Bunny are all in attendance Everything ends well for everyone, with every character falling hopelessly in love just like in real life.
The quality of the movie feels all too rushed which includes the opening narration setting up story and hurriedly introduces seven or eight characters and their interrelationships. Minutes later the film changes those relationships one after another and expects you not only to keep up but to care somehow. Once you start to get a feel for it all another character or two gets introduced in the movie, in a seemingly important scene, only to never be seen again. One scene where Lola is hanging out with her mom's best friend's son, Lola asks for the boy to sleep with her, out of nowhere, and then he is never seen again. Won't take Miley Cyrus' movie virginity? Out of the movie with you!
The acting isn't even that bad if you ignore the main characters in the film. The actors for the teenage characters are either geniuses at acting like children or just the absolute worst. Behind them is Demi Moore, Thomas Jane, Fisher Stevens, and Marlo Thomas giving believable performances as family members and family friends. Their performances actually helps accent the good parts of the film, whenever those do happen.
When there is a good moment in the movie it almost always happens away from Lola and her friends. Characters like Mr. Ross, played by Austin Nichols, who is their trigonometry teacher and who is doing his best to deflect student Emily, who clearly likes him. One beginning scene has Emily fawning over Mr. Ross at the chalk board while not listening to his lesson. As Mr. Ross ends his one on one lesson with Emily he turns to his classroom, also filled with fawning female students. It's one moment of comedy in a film overwrought with feelings that just take themselves too damn serious.
I could write a lot more about the poor parts of this movie, how parents feel like bad parent cliches rather than human beings who actually have good intentions, or how the same two songs are played over and over throughout the movie, or how the majority of the movie everyone calls Lola just Lola, never LOL. More than likely though you don't need to be warned about this film any longer. There are just too many other movies doing teen angst and love in better ways. Like Twilight.
Hope you enjoyed the first entry in this feature as I suffered for your enjoyment. Try and think up new movies and new pain to put me through and I'll see you in the next edition of You Put Me Through This.