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The Lather Effect
DVD disk
07.22.2008 By: Quigles
The Lather Effect order
Director:
Sarah Kelly

Actors:
Tate Donovan
Ione Skye
Eric Stoltz

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A group of mid-30s high school friends reunite for a party, and spend the next hung-over morning reflecting on their lives and finding out what could’ve been.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Plastered on this film’s DVD cover is a giant review quote that reads, “A ‘Big Chill’ for Generation X!” and it’s very clear that’s exactly what THE LATHER EFFECT is trying to be. Simply replace the ‘80s group of friends reminiscing about the ‘60s with today’s generation reminiscing about the ‘80s, and there you have it. Explore the film further though, and it becomes readily apparent that THE LATHER EFFECT doesn’t have much to say outside of sharing shallow lessons on life and giving examples of what not do if you’re still holding old flames. At one point, a character even calls the group out for wasting so much time waxing nostalgic about the past instead of being grateful for how well-off they are now. It was almost as if he read my mind. But alas, his comments are in vein, and the rest of the characters continue to talk about how awesome life used to be when they were young.

This isn’t to say the film is entirely without merit. For what it is, it’s serviceable entertainment (which comes complete with plenty of cool ‘80s tunes), and it’s actually pretty weird to keep seeing so many familiar faces that you can’t quite place. I spent the majority of the movie uttering things like, “Holy shit, it’s Michael Bolton from OFFICE SPACE!” and “Holy shit, it’s the chick that turned rogue in the first season of 24!” and so on. I actually think I had more fun trying to figure out from what movies or TV shows I recognized the actors than actually watching the movie. I’m not sure what that says about the film, but hey, if you’re a fan of movie trivia and guessing games, THE LATHER EFFECT makes a pretty good one.
THE EXTRAS
A decent collection of special features.

Audio Commentary (with director Sarah Kelly, editor Darren Ayers, and producer/actor Eric Stoltz): An informative look into how the film came to be and what inspired certain aspects of it, etc.

The Making of The Lather Effect (16:07): Better than your average making-of featurette. Doesn’t have that promotional or artificial feel to it.

Deleted Scenes (20:23): A number of cut bits of needless comedy.

The Cameron Effect (7:04): A love note from director Sarah Kelly to Cameron Crowe.

The Importance of Being an Earnest P.A. (4:43): Director Sarah Kelly reflects on her history as a production assistant.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Teetering on the line between wistful nostalgia and simply whining, THE LATHER EFFECT remains relatively entertaining thanks to its above-average script, talented actors, and classic ‘80s pop songs.
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