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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 62.0° F  Overcast
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Ripple Effect: Pay as you go

What goes around comes around. That's the message I'm taking from Ripple Effect, Philippe Caland's karma-driven account of an L.A.-based fashion designer (Caland himself) who can't hit the big-time until he's cleared the accounts on a hit-and-run accident he was involved in 15 years ago. Perhaps only in La La Land would money play such a major role in the interconnectedness of things. But Caland, who also produced the movie and wrote the script, tries to avoid the charge of complete cravenness by making the story about caring for something other than money - you know, like people and stuff. Of course, this is a guy who once made a movie (Hollywood Buddha) about not having landed a major distributor for his previous movie (Dead Girl), so he may have a slightly different meaning for the phrase "pay it forward."

Cast-wise, Caland has already hit the jackpot. Forest Whitaker, using that sly smile of his to indicate a state of higher consciousness, plays the man whom Caland ran over, now paralyzed from the waist down but totally at peace from the neck up. And Virginia Madsen employs her beauty and air of calm in the role of Caland's wife, who'd prefer some quality time with her husband over life in the fast lane. Finally, there's Minnie Driver as Whitaker's resentful yet horny wife. Oh, and Caland, whose only chance of landing another acting job will be in one of his own films. With that thick Middle Eastern accent of his and those designer tank tops, he gives off a slight Zohan vibe, and I'm pretty sure that's not what he was after. What he was after was a movie deal, which he got. Now, let's stand back and let karma do its work.

Ripple Effect, Westgate

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