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Film / Lola

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Lola is a 1961 French-Italian film directed by Jacques Demy, starring Anouk Aimee.

In Nantes, the paths of several characters cross. Roland Cassard is fired and he is looking for a new start in his life. Lola is a cabaret dancer still in love with a guy who left her years ago. Frankie is an American sailor who has a crush on Lola. Mme Desnoyers raises her daughter Cécile alone. Cécile is a teenage girl who start challenging her mother's authority. Jeanne waits for the return of his son who disappeared years ago.


Lola provides examples of:

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Mme Desnoyers is charmed by Roland. Roland is in love with Lola and he proposes to her. She rejects him, because she is still in love with Michel who left her years ago. Cécile Desnoyers is attracted to Frankie. Frankie, in turn, has a crush on Lola, but he is just a one-night stand for her. Only Lola gets together with her love interest, Michel, when he comes back.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Lola and Michel get a happy ending, but all the other characters' hopes remain unfulfilled.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Cécile does not obey her mother. In the end, she even runs away to Cherbourg to meet Frankie again.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Roland and Lola were childhood friends. When Roland meets her, he falls in love with her, but she rejects him.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Many of them.
    • For example, in the beginning, Jeanne talks to Roland about a woman who has to raise her child alone because her lover left her. This woman is Roland's childhood friend and he will meet her later the same day.
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    • Roland goes to the cinema and tells he watched a film which is set on Matareva Island. When Michel comes back, he tells Lola that he ended up on the same island.
    • When he meets the young Cécile, Roland remembers Cécile, his childhood friend who he has not met since the war. Later the same day, he meets again his childhood friend Cécile.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Roland is bored with his mundane life and he is looking for adventure. So he does not hesitate to embark on shady business.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Michel has disappeared and Lola brings up her son alone.
    • Mme Desnoyers brings up Cécile alone too. In the end, Mme Desnoyers tells that Cécile's father is not her late husband, but her brother-in-law who lives in Cherbourg.
    • This is also Roland's background. He tells his father was a sailor and his mother always waited for him.
  • History Repeats: The destiny of the young Cécile mirrors the life of the old Cécile ("Lola"). They have the same name. Lola is a dancer and the young Cécile would like to become one. Lola met her first love, Michel, at a funfair. He had fair hair and he was disguised as an American sailor. He left her just after their meeting. The young Cécile falls in love with Frankie, a real American sailor with fair hair, who looks like Michel according to Lola. She goes with him to a funfair. He leaves her immediately thereafter.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Cécile is only 14 year old, but she tries to charm Frankie, an American sailor. She even runs away from her mother's apartment to meet him again in Cherbourg.
  • "I Am" Song: "C'est moi, c'est Lola", the only song of the film, sung by Lola (Anouk Aimee).
  • I Will Wait for You: Lola is still in love with Michel, her first love, who left her years ago. She does not want to get into another serious relationship because of this. Downplayed, because she is not opposed to one-night stands, especially with men who look like Michel.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Lola and the other dancers of the cabaret wear corsets. Lola often goes out of the cabaret with just a long coat on her corset.
  • One Degree of Separation:
    • Roland is Lola's childhood friend. He gets jealous of Frankie when he sees him with Lola. He meets Mme Desnoyers and her daughter Cécile in a bookshop and he is invited in their apartment. He stays in the same hotel as Jeanne.
    • Lola had a one-night stand with Frankie. Jeanne is her lover's mother.
    • Frankie meets Cécile in a newspaper kiosk and, later, he goes with her to the funfair.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. Lola's real name is Cécile. Mme Desnoyers's daughter is also called Cécile.
  • The Runaway: Cécile runs away to Cherbourg to meet Frankie again.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Roland and Lola were childhood friends. When Roland meets her again as an adult, he is stunned by her looks and he instantly falls in love with her.
  • ShoutOut:
    • Roland reads Man's Fate by André Malraux. He is captivated by his reading and he arrives late at work. He uses a quote from the book to justify his late arrival.
    • Mme Desnoyers brings back to the bookshop a shocking book whose main character is called Justine. This is probably Justine by the Marquis de Sade.
    • Roland goes to the cinema to watch Return to Paradise (1953). He later explains that it is a movie starring Gary Cooper, set on Matareva Island.
  • The 'Verse: The character of Roland also appears in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964). The character of Lola also appears in Model Shop (1969).


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