“Lola Versus” stars Greta Gerwig (“Greenberg”) as a 29-year-old grad student whose fiancé, played by Joel Kinnaman, 32, ends their engagement just before their wedding. Lola, feeling lost, has a series of adventures that include some new guys. Her anchors are her free-spirited parents (Debra Winger, 57, and Bill Pullman) and best friend Alice (Zoe Lister-Jones, 29). “Lola” was co-written by Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein, 29, the actress’ romantic partner of eight years. Wein also directed. In 2009, the duo co-wrote and Wein directed “Breaking Upwards,” based on their real-life relationship.
Wein, who describes himself as “white, Jewish and scared” on his Twitter account, told W magazine that he works in the nebbishy comedy mode of Woody Allen and that “Lola” is in the style of “Annie Hall.” Except, Wein says, “it’s not a love story between a guy and a girl — it’s the story of a woman who’s learning about herself.”
Kinnaman is best known for his starring role as detective Stephen Holder in the AMC series “The Killing.” He was born and raised in Sweden, the son of an American, non-Jewish father who left the States during the Vietnam War. His mother is a Swedish Jew. Success in Swedish films paved his way to American roles.
Opening on June 29 is “Take This Waltz,” a film inspired by a song by Leonard Cohen, 77. Seth Rogen, 30, stars as Lou Rubin, a Jewish guy whose five-year marriage to Margot (Michelle Williams) is endangered by her interest in an artist who lives nearby. Sarah Silverman, 41, plays Margot’s friend and confidant.
Opening on the same day, in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Rafael, is the documentary “Pink Ribbons.” The film looks at how the breast cancer movement has moved from activism to consumerism and challenges viewers to rethink their assumptions about breast cancer in our society. The film is directed by Léa Pool, 61, a Swiss-Canadian whose father is a Holocaust survivor. Many breast cancer experts and activists are interviewed, including Barbara Brenner, 60, a San Franciscan who is a breast cancer survivor. She was the former executive director of the grassroots activist group Breast Cancer Action. Sadly, Brenner is now suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
TV Land brings back the comedy “Retired at 35” for a second season on Tuesday, June 26 at 10 p.m. It stars George Segal, 78, and Jessica Walter, 71, as a couple whose adult son moves into their retirement home. Tony-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur, 39 (“Hairspray”), has joined the cast. She plays the couple’s daughter, described as “a sharp-tongued, quick-witted successful saleswoman for a pharmaceutical company with a bubbly personality.”
At 8 p.m. Sunday, June 24, HBO will premiere “The Newsroom.” The series was created by Aaron Sorkin, 51 (“West Wing,” “The Social Network”), and he wrote or co-wrote all of the first season’s 10 episodes. The show chronicles the behind-the-scenes events at a fictional cable news channel and features a strong ensemble cast.
The Bravo reality series “Miss Advised” started June 18, but you can catch the premiere episode online or during encore showings (Saturday, June 23 at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 24 at 5 and 8 p.m.). The premise: Three female relationship experts who dole out advice to others find out how well they do when they personally enter the dating scene in their respective home cities. One is Emily Morse, 41, a San Franciscan who hosts “Sex with Emily,” a live Internet radio show and a top downloaded podcast. She also is co-author of “Hot Sex: Over 200 Things You Can Try Tonight!” Prior to her current career, Morse was an actress, filmmaker and campaign aide to former Mayor Willie Brown and Sen. Barbara Boxer, 71.
Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.