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May 28, 2009

Fletch's Mini Film Review: Lymelife

Lymelife, or as it might be called, The Squid and the Ice Storm, is a tale of two families and the ups and downs they face in early 1980s Long Island. It centers on Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin), a 15-year old with an older brother (Culkin's real-life older brother Kieran) returning home on a hiatus from the Marines, and his bickering, unhappy parents (Jill Hennessy and Alec Baldwin). Baldwin's Mickey is having an affair with Melissa Bragg (Cynthia Nixon), a business associate whose husband Charlie (Timothy Dalton) has Lyme disease and whose daughter Adrianna (Emma Roberts) has been friends/flirting partners with Scott for the duration of their respective childhoods. Still with me?

The film plays out as all of these converging forces come to a head, from Charlie's worsening medical condition to Scott's coming-of-age to the revealing of the affair to the ensuing battle between Scott's parents. Lymelife stands fine on its own, featuring good turns all-around from a well-rounded cast, but to deny the similarities to it and The Ice Storm and The Squid and the Whale would like saying that Benjamin Button bears no resemblance to Forrest Gump. Still, I enjoyed the noticeable lack of Wes Anderson-style trappings (there are times when you can almost hear Nico singing or see a slo-motion shot of people walking nowhere in particular), and casting a pair of Culkins as brothers added a depth and realism that might not have been there otherwise.

Fletch's Film Rating:

"Darn tootin!"

1 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Mini Film Review: Lymelife"

Linda said...

I liked this one. Agree it is pretty indie-dysfunctional family-drama-angst-coming of age blah blah, but I like that stuff. Performances are solid, and I love that they cast brothers who play brothers. It worked. Emma Roberts was a pleasant surprise, as was the ending. Well done.