By Brad Laidman | January 21, 2001

Scott (Aaron Falls) has a good reason to get drunk all of the time. You’d drink too if your mother, when she was around, was Divine’s dead ringer, sported a Mohawk and dressed like the bastard child of Cyndi Lauper and Boy George. Each day Scott comes home completely wasted he gets another creepy story from mom’s wild ride of a life. One binge reminds mom about an acid trip where she felt compelled to carve the world Chanel into her arm. The next day she graces her son with a rendition of her punk band’s show-stopping number which sings the glory of using the one you love as a urinal.
Luckily, other than that bit of epic weirdness “A Sudden Loss Of Gravity” is an eerily authentic and urgently somber look at lives going nowhere in mid-80’s Bangor, Maine. Todd Verow’s follow-up to the well received “Shucking The Curve” is essentially the dark side to John Hughes’ high school pop fantasies. Some of these kids are mourning a deadly Prom Night drinking and driving disaster, some are reacting to the aftermath of a hate crime, and some just have nothing better to do.
Life for these kids is day after day of driving back and forth with nothing to do, hopefully looking for a good place to get ripped where the cops won’t hassle you. The 80’s fashions that looked so goofy in “The Wedding Singer” are shown here to be something much more dingy and desperate, almost an acute cry for help. Nothing really happens over the course of “A Sudden Loss of Gravity” — just the day by day somber unproductive filling up of time by lost souls with nowhere to go and little hope for achievement. Parts of the film are confusing and slow going, but it is time and again rescued by its sad authenticity.

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