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On the eve of selling her mother's house, a thirty-something housewife wakes up to a hangover surrounded by her best friends from high school, who were used to partying in the house in an earlier era, and stirring memories of old teenage games and truths revealed about loves lost. Written by
This movie inevitably will be compared with The Big Chill, and that's okay. The Lather Effect is funny and poignant, and explores a lot of themes that are common to most people in their thirties regardless of when they grew up. I saw it when it played at South by Southwest, where it was well-received by the audience, who laughed and cheered in all the right places.
Valinda (Friday Night Light's Connie Britton) throws one last "rager" at her parents' house on the weekend before it is to be sold. The party's theme was "Come As You Were," so everyone was dressed in Eighties costumes, but along with their memories they also brought their unresolved issues from their teen years, as well as their adult fears about the future. On the morning after the party, the house is a huge mess that Valinda and her circle of friends have to clean up. In the process, long-buried secrets are revealed and old wounds are opened. The characters begin to come to terms with how their pasts affected the present, and contemplate the future.
The cast is excellent. Connie Britton carries the movie well, and Eric Stoltz steals many scenes as the slightly-older guy who used to crash every party when they were teens, in what feels like a reprisal of his cameo in Say Anything (minus the chicken suit). The soundtrack is great as well -- when can I buy the CD?
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