Lake Effects

Lake Effects

On DVD: 
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Bonus Features:

The Ripple Effect: The Making of Lake Effects and Deleted Scenes.

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a film about a young lawyer living in the big city with her boyfriend, who worked alongside her at a big law firm, a partnership looming on the horizon. One day something happens to her father and she reluctantly drops everything and rushes back to her hometown (which she has abandoned for a new life in the city), a backwoods fishing town. Here she meets a potential second love interest, finds her plot somehow tied in with the lake and a particular catch found within, and her lawyerly ways come into play against some faceless threat to her former town. That film was titled Reel Love and starred country singer Leann Rimes.

It would seem the idea isn’t so far fetched or original that within a span of maybe a couple of weeks Hallmark decided to release a similar film about pretty much the same thing. This time the film is called Lake Effects. In this version Scottie Thompson (Skyline, Star Trek) plays Sara, the big city lawyer who has run away from home to make something of herself away from her small town roots. In this version her father has died tragically in an accident and she is forced to rush home, leaving her boyfriend and potential firm partnership hanging. This story focuses on her relationship with her mother Vivian (Jane Seymour; Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Wedding Crashers) and her sister Lily (Madeline Zima; Californication, Heroes). The rest is pretty much the same story.

The difference between the two movies seems to be the star power. Reel Love had the allure of Burt Reynolds and, if you are a country music fan, Leann Rimes. Lake Effects seems to have no end when it comes to familiar faces including Jeff Fahey (Planet Terror), Sean Patrick Flannery (Boondock Saints), Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), Ben Savage (Boy Meets World), and Richard Moll (Night Court), not counting the three main characters. Unfortunately the film still suffers from the same do-good philosophy that is too easy to see through and the same bumbling characters that provide minimal laughs but all together seem to drag down a film that should have been, at best, a short.

Even without the numerous similarities to a film I've already seen Lake Effects has to much going against it. The acting is more fine tuned then RL but still can't seem to find itself in the mix of drama and comedy, and because the story is so paint by numbers you get bored quick being one step ahead the entire time. What also hurts the film is its need to include a bit of a paranormal edge to it which never really comes into its own. It felt like it was trying too hard to be a little bit of something for everyone. It spread itself too thin and left you with a story that was so blatantly obvious it made you miss the old days when Hallmark was putting out massive productions of quality films like Dinotopia, The Odyssey, and Gullivers Travels.

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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