on May 07, 1999 by Christine James
   A title like "Mascara" evokes some exuberant drag queen comedy, but there's nary a sequined Wonderbra or a chuckle to be found in this slice-of-life drama about three women and their follied romances. Perhaps "Mascara" refers to the uniquely feminine. This trio of friends certainly has cause for raccoon eyes: Newlywed Laura (Lumi Cavezos) has discovered her husband Donnie is an immature shopaholic weenie; Rebecca (Ione Skye) fears her much older boyfriend has a not altogether wholesome relationship with his slutty teenaged daughter; and Jennifer (Amanda de Cadenet) is a jaded, self-loathing alcoholic who has spiraled ever downward since learning of her husband's affair. At first, we want to see these seemingly strong, level-headed women overcome their circumstances, but as their actions become increasingly questionable (Laura considers going back to Donnie, Rebecca couthlessly seduces a near-stranger, and Jennifer's undiscerning dalliances lead to a disturbing rape), we cease to identify and, by extension, to care.
   Ostensibly the story of how friendship gets these women through their trials, the film rarely demonstrates this facet, except in a time-jump to a bizarrely paradisic ending.    Starring Lumi Cavezos, Ione Skye and Amanda de Cadenet. Directed and written by Linda Kandel. Produced by Crocker Coulson. A Phaedra release. Drama. Rated R for strong sexuality, language and a rape scene. Running time: 94 min.
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