Mascara


1h 34m 1999

Brief Synopsis

The story of three very different women who rediscover the value of their friendship at a time when their lives are in turmoil. Panic sets in as they approach their thirtieth birthdays and nothing is going according to plan. Laura is a classic overachiever who is humiliated when her marriage goes

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
1999
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m

Synopsis

The story of three very different women who rediscover the value of their friendship at a time when their lives are in turmoil. Panic sets in as they approach their thirtieth birthdays and nothing is going according to plan. Laura is a classic overachiever who is humiliated when her marriage goes sour soon after the wedding. After discovering her husband Donnie has a credit card addiction, Laura must struggle with her unresolved feelings and the pressure from her traditional parents. Jennifer is at loose ends after sacrificing her career to be a mother. Wounded by her husband Ken's one time affair, Jennifer goes on a reckless spree of drinking and infidelity that threatens to destroy everything she holds dear. Rebecca is a free spirit who finds herself flirting with commitment to an older photographer, Nick. But she worries about his excessive curiosity about his own daughter, Daphne. When Nick's son Andrew appears on the scene, Rebecca finds herself drawn into a perverse family affair.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
1999
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m

Articles

Mascara


Some four years after its brief theatrical run, the independent dramedy chick-flick Mascara (1999) has made its way to DVD, courtesy of Pathfinder Home Entertainment. Writer/director Linda Kandel offered up a slice from the intersecting paths of a trio of best friends, on the cusp of their 30s with their lives on the rocks, and how their bonds pull them through their tribulations. While the three lead actresses offer game and earnest performances, the finished product plays like middling Lifetime fodder with a fair amount of nudity and profanity spliced in.

The title sequence play over the impending wedding of Laura Spector (Lumi Cavazos), a Los Angeles psychotherapist and lifelong overachiever who seems happy to be getting married primarily because the clock was running. Within seven months, she's walking out the door; the new husband Donny (Steve Schub) is an inattentive, adulterous, abusive boor whose career seems to consist of concocting pie-in-the-sky entrepreneurial schemes and who has run them into a mountain of credit card debt.

While Laura's envious of the footloose approach to life taken by Rebecca Cook (Ione Skye), Rebecca's starting to feel the emptiness from having a string of jobs in lieu of a career, and a string of lovers in lieu of a relationship. Her latest beau Nick (Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones) is an amiable Brit photographer old enough to be her father. He also came saddled with a trampy teenage daughter (Tara Subkoff), and Rebecca has plenty of unease about their little too-close bond.

The last member of the sorority, Jennifer Hewitt (Amanda de Cadanet), bailed on career for motherhood, and never truly recovered from an episode of infidelity by her successful lawyer husband (Barry del Sherman). She fills the emotional void in her marriage through alcohol and her own sexual liaisons with whatever younger stud available.

Over the course of an hour and a half, the women struggle with their life choices, make some questionable alternative choices, and spend the denouement pulling for one another in a manner that would have benefited the narrative more if they had shown such mutual support from the jump. As it stands, it's very familiar stuff told in a very familiar manner, with only the occasional flash of novel wit, as in the sequence where Laura goes on a first date with one of Donny's frat brothers. The abundant hand-held camera work, rather than establishing intimacy, seems merely amateurish.

As before, the efforts of its three leads are the most commendable aspect of Mascara. While making an improbable Jewish princess, Cavazos, so memorable in Like Water For Chocolate (1992) remains an arresting presence on camera. Skye, whose promise as a young actress seemed boundless after River's Edge (1986) and Say Anything... (1989), remains radiant, and de Cadanet does well in conveying the torment of the most deeply conflicted of the three characters. The amount of nudity demanded from both Skye and de Cadanet borders on the puzzling for an ostensibly feminist piece. The rest of the performers offer competent work; Karen Black appears briefly as an aunt who drops a bombshell about Rebecca's past.

Pathfinder presented Mascara in its 1.33:1 theatrical aspect ratio, and while the packaging promises an audio commentary, none appears on the disc. The extras aren't much to write home about, with merely the theatrical trailer, brief bios of the leads, director and producer, and a small gallery of stills being offered.

For more information about Mascara, visit Pathfinder Home Entertainment. To order Mascara, go to TCM Shopping.

by Jay S. Steinberg
Mascara

Mascara

Some four years after its brief theatrical run, the independent dramedy chick-flick Mascara (1999) has made its way to DVD, courtesy of Pathfinder Home Entertainment. Writer/director Linda Kandel offered up a slice from the intersecting paths of a trio of best friends, on the cusp of their 30s with their lives on the rocks, and how their bonds pull them through their tribulations. While the three lead actresses offer game and earnest performances, the finished product plays like middling Lifetime fodder with a fair amount of nudity and profanity spliced in. The title sequence play over the impending wedding of Laura Spector (Lumi Cavazos), a Los Angeles psychotherapist and lifelong overachiever who seems happy to be getting married primarily because the clock was running. Within seven months, she's walking out the door; the new husband Donny (Steve Schub) is an inattentive, adulterous, abusive boor whose career seems to consist of concocting pie-in-the-sky entrepreneurial schemes and who has run them into a mountain of credit card debt. While Laura's envious of the footloose approach to life taken by Rebecca Cook (Ione Skye), Rebecca's starting to feel the emptiness from having a string of jobs in lieu of a career, and a string of lovers in lieu of a relationship. Her latest beau Nick (Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones) is an amiable Brit photographer old enough to be her father. He also came saddled with a trampy teenage daughter (Tara Subkoff), and Rebecca has plenty of unease about their little too-close bond. The last member of the sorority, Jennifer Hewitt (Amanda de Cadanet), bailed on career for motherhood, and never truly recovered from an episode of infidelity by her successful lawyer husband (Barry del Sherman). She fills the emotional void in her marriage through alcohol and her own sexual liaisons with whatever younger stud available. Over the course of an hour and a half, the women struggle with their life choices, make some questionable alternative choices, and spend the denouement pulling for one another in a manner that would have benefited the narrative more if they had shown such mutual support from the jump. As it stands, it's very familiar stuff told in a very familiar manner, with only the occasional flash of novel wit, as in the sequence where Laura goes on a first date with one of Donny's frat brothers. The abundant hand-held camera work, rather than establishing intimacy, seems merely amateurish. As before, the efforts of its three leads are the most commendable aspect of Mascara. While making an improbable Jewish princess, Cavazos, so memorable in Like Water For Chocolate (1992) remains an arresting presence on camera. Skye, whose promise as a young actress seemed boundless after River's Edge (1986) and Say Anything... (1989), remains radiant, and de Cadanet does well in conveying the torment of the most deeply conflicted of the three characters. The amount of nudity demanded from both Skye and de Cadanet borders on the puzzling for an ostensibly feminist piece. The rest of the performers offer competent work; Karen Black appears briefly as an aunt who drops a bombshell about Rebecca's past. Pathfinder presented Mascara in its 1.33:1 theatrical aspect ratio, and while the packaging promises an audio commentary, none appears on the disc. The extras aren't much to write home about, with merely the theatrical trailer, brief bios of the leads, director and producer, and a small gallery of stills being offered. For more information about Mascara, visit Pathfinder Home Entertainment. To order Mascara, go to TCM Shopping. by Jay S. Steinberg

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States January 1999

Released in United States May 21, 1999

Released in United States on Video November 18, 2003

Released in United States Spring May 14, 1999

Shown at Slamdunk Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 24-28, 1999.

Released in United States January 1999 (Shown at Slamdunk Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 24-28, 1999.)

Released in United States Spring May 14, 1999

Released in United States May 21, 1999 (Village East; New York City)

Released in United States on Video November 18, 2003