Lake Effects is a touching, heartwarming movie that is a good watch FOR any family. Anybody that liked Reese Witherspoon’s 2002 movie, Sweet Home Alabama will likely enjoy this movie, too. While the two movies’ budgets may have been far different, the stories are very similar. And as similar as they are, the general plots are different, at least.
Lake Effects is very similar to Sweet Home Alabama in its general story. What separates the prior from the latter is that unlike Witherspoon’s character of Melanie, Sara (Scottie Thompson) didn’t leave her hometown to run away from her husband. In the case of Lake Effects, Sara left simply to break out on her own and experience the big city life. She does just that, becoming a lawyer at a major L.A. law firm. When her father unexpectedly dies, she is forced to return to the small town in which she grew up, and handle her father’s estate. At first though, she doesn’t even want to deal with the estate. It’s her sister, Lily, who convinces her to stay and help deal with the estate. This is where Lake Effects becomes even more similar to Sweet Home Alabama. As a result of staying in her old home town, Sara rediscovers her roots and even falls for an old sweetheart. Again, there is a pretty big similarity there between the two films.
That similarity between the movies is also where another separation occurs. In the process of regaining her small town roots, Sara discovers a secret about her lake front community that becomes a center of conflict, which becomes her real biggest case, rather than the one she had to leave behind when she went back home for her father’s funeral. It also leads to the romance subplot that has its own similarities to the one in Sweet Home Alabama.
It would be wrong to look at Lake Effects and call it original. There is no denying that it ripped off Sweet Home Alabama in a number of ways. For that matter, Jane Seymour’s attempt at a southern accent is anything but believable. For all the negatives, there’s no denying that for its intended female audiences, Lake Effect is a good movie for therapy. It reminds its audiences of the importance of family and of the little things in life. It serves as a reminder to never forget one’s roots. For that, it’s a movie that’s worth at least one watch.
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