Couples that collaborate are nothing new in the movie business. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a relationship as tangled as that of Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones, the twentysomethings behind the new offbeat romantic comedy “Lola Versus.”
For the film, which opens in Los Angeles on Friday, the duo wrote (both of them), directed (him), acted (her), executive-produced (both) — and, oh, yes, went through a yearlong, real-life breakup whose spirit they funneled into the movie.
Wein: “Our personal and professional lives have completely blended. I honestly don’t know if I’m at home right now or on set.” (He was on set, in New York.)
Lister-Jones: “Not everything from the script is from that year. Some is from single men and women I know.” Pause. “A lot is from that year.”
Unlike their 2010 feature debut “Breaking Upwards,” a low-budget DIY effort (think $15,000 and plenty of helpful friends) about a couple who decide to try an open relationship, “Lola” centers on a woman coping with the fallout of a breakup. It comes with a positively Spielbergian budget (for them) of about $5 million and veteran hands in producer Michael London (“Sideways”) and specialty-film giant Fox Searchlight, which financed and oversaw production and is distributing the movie.
The film stars Greta Gerwig (of “Greenberg” and seemingly every third indie romance) as the titular Lola, a woman dumped by her fiancé (Joel Kinnaman of TV’s “The Killing”) just before their nuptials — a destination wedding in Mexico. Rather than running permanently into the arms of her pining male best friend (Hamish Linklater of “The New Adventures of Old Christine”) or back into the conciliatory embrace of her ex, Lola tries to work out a single life with the help of her family and her bawdy gal pal Alice (Lister-Jones, also the wisecracking sidekick Lily from NBC’s “Whitney” and as outspoken in real life as one of her characters).
Though there is romance and comedy, “Lola” is as much about a quest for identity as it is a story of happily ever after.