Friday, May 29, 2009

Lymelife (Rhoades)

“Lymelife” Recalls Dysfunctional Family Life

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Sorry to tell you, but “Lymelife” is not about Key Lime pies.

Instead it’s about dysfunctional families on Long Island, NY, amidst an outbreak of Lyme Disease in the late ’70s.

The script was co-written by brothers Derick and Steven Martini, based on their memories of growing up in a suburban community just outside NYC. Derick also directed the film, while Steven composed the music and performed it with his band. A family affair.

I suppose one should use the term “family affair” cautiously, because the two families portrayed in this tragic, funny, and sad Valentine are beset by anger, illness, and infidelity.

Seen through the eyes of 15-year-old Scott (Rory Culkin, younger brother of “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin), we meet his parents (Alec Baldwin and Jill Hennessy), his older brother (real-life sib Kierin Culkin), and the neighbors. He has a thing for the girl next door (Emma Roberts), whose mother (Cynthia Nixon) is having a not-so-secret affair and whose father (Timothy Hutton) is battling Lyme Disease.

Scott’s workaholic dad and uptight mom are contemplating divorce, his combative older brother is home on leave from the war, and the girl next door seems to be interested in Scott after all those years of unresponsive proximity.

Yes, life is complex for young Scott … as it is for just about every teenage boy who has faced the crumbling American Dream.

The Martini brother makes cameo appearances à la Hitchcock – Derick as a photographer and Steven as a taxi driver.

“Lymelife” is told with raw emotion, as if the Martini brothers spent their family inheritance on a movie to help them exorcize the demons of growing up … rather than paying for years of therapy.
[from Solares Hill]

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