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‘LOL’(Laughing Out Loud), now an American movie starring Miley Cyrus which premiered in the U.S on May 4, 2012, was a massive hit in France. “Everybody who was seeing the movie, even American people, was telling me, ‘Wow, that’s so great. It’s the first time I related to a French movie that much,”’ says Lisa Azuelos, writer and director of the movie. Though it had a crossover appeal for American audiences, Azuelos knew that there was definitely a challenge for a French movie to be seen by the large American audience.
“So I said, ‘Well then, I’m going to do the remake!’ and everybody laughed at me.” People would tell her that nobody does their own remake and that there’s no way she would make it. Regardless of these doubts, she met with Roeg Sutherland and Maha Dakhil of CAA and immediately had a great connection with them. She could see that they loved the movie and believed in it. From that moment on, it was off to a start and the American remake, ‘LOL,’ found its home at Mandate Pictures.
While the original was filmed in Paris, France, ‘LOL’ was shot in Chicago, Illinois. The producers decided to adjust the movie from Paris to Chicago because “Chicago is a very sophisticated city and it’s very typical of United States,” says Michael Shamberg of Double Feature Films.
Stacey Sher, producer of Double Feature Films elaborates that Chicago “is a completely cosmopolitan American city without being rarified,” in the same way Paris is in France. And given that many successful adolescent films in the U.S., including the famous John Hughes films, “American Pie’ and ‘Mean Girls’ were set in Chicago, they were confident that this location was relatable to the American audience.
The film was also shot in Detroit, doubling for Chicago, which the producers felt was a very interesting city. “It’s a city undergoing great transition and we were shooting in Downtown Detroit, as opposed to Anne Arbor or any of the sort of cushy suburbs. So we were all sort of together on this island, the island in Downtown, Detroit,” said, Sher describing the location. And to wrap, the last few days of shoot were filmed on location in Paris, France.
Being on set was unanimously described as “so much fun.” With ‘LOL’ being the first feature film for many of the young cast members, Sher expresses that they brought passion, excitement and an “un-jaded quality to filmmaking that makes it always fun to be around.” For Azuelos, casting these young thespians were one of the most enjoyable moments in the making of the film. In fact, she describes the casting of a movie as the main part of her job. “When I cast a movie, I’ve done ninety-five percent of my job. After, all I have to say is ‘Action.’”
About the movie
Lola’s high school inner-circle includes Kyle (Douglas Booth), Lola’s BFF, whom she realizes is her love interest after a bad breakup with his best friend, Chad (George Finn); Lola’s two best friends Janice (Lina Esco) and Emily (Ashley Hinshaw); Wen (Sevani), a nerd that Emily secretly hooks up with; Lloyd (Tanz Watson) who is part of their crew; and Ashley (Ashley Greene), the sexy girl who has set her sights on Kyle, much to Lola’s dismay. Thomas Jane is Alan, Anne’s ex-husband and Lola’s father, who can’t seem to let go of Anne.
Jay Hernandez (James) is a dangerously cute, good-natured cop dating Anne, who is able to offer a little perspective on her teenage daughter. Austin Nichols (Mr. Ross) is the heartthrob math teacher whom all the girls have a crush on.
The legendary Marlo Thomas (Gran), portrays Anne’s sophisticated mother whose relaxed demeanor allows her to be the easy-going bystander when it comes to watching Anne raise children of her own. And Gina Gershon and Fisher Stevens (Roman and Kathy) are Anne’s closest friends and confidants. Nora Dunn also makes an appearance as Emily’s mom.
Image Courtesy of LOL The Movie