Roland Cassard is a young man with no job and seemingly no prospects. By chance, he runs into his former girlfriend Cecile, who works as a dancer at a cabaret under the stage name Lola. She is now a single mom and works hard to provide her young son with all of the necessities of life. Lola still hopes that her son’s father Michel, the true love of her life, will someday return to them. Seeing Lola again confirms to Roland that he’s still in love with her, but she doesn’t return his feelings. He has also met Madame Desnoyer and her 14-year-old daughter, also called Cecile. Madame Desnoyer, a widow, is quite taken with Roland but he has little interest in her. Roland sees no future if he stays in France.
User Reviews: …You would know that,in Chicago,there are no sailors but gangsters.That’s what the mother tells her daughter who became friend with an American!This is one of the funniest lines of a wonderful movie.
There’s a tight connection between "Lola" and Demy’s following movie "les parapluies de Cherbourg":
-Lola is an unmarried mother,Genevieve becomes one too. Both are waiting for a lover,in a harbor .(Nantes for Lola,Cherbourg for Genevieve)
-Marc Michel’s character,Roland appears in both movies!In love with Lola,he is rejected.In "les parapluies",his memories come back for a very short while: a flashback displays pictures of Nantes,where Lola’s story took place .And he told Genevieve’s mother about his long lost love.
-In "Lola" ,Roland wants to marry the heroine and to become her(not his) son’s father.In "les parapluies",he marries Genevieve and becomes her (not his) son’s father.
-Both movies display ordinary people,whose ordinary life is shown with emphasis but not without taste ,as if all this were written in verse.What’s the matter if "Lola" is a "normal" movie and "les parapluies " an entirely sung one.Demy’s touch makes both winners.
-Both movies -and it was to continue with "les demoiselles de Rochefort" and the marvelous "Donkey Skin"- favor the scenery:the black and white shots in "Lola" are at least as unreal and as dreamlike as the vivid colors in "les parapluies"(influenced by American musicals of the fifties)
-Both movies feature families without a father figure:the mother and the daughter I mention above ,we find them back in "les parapluies.." and even later in "les demoiselles de Rochefort".But in this latter work,it’s the mother who’s an unmarried mother.
"Les parapluies de Cherbourg" is praised and loved everywhere,but "Lola"’s still crying to be seen.Like Roland ,Lola will come back in another Demy’s movie ,made in America: "Model Shop"(1968).Leonard Maltin says that "Demy’s eye for LA is striking ,but overall feel to story is ambiguous".It’s not on a par with Lola,though.