WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Scott (Rory Culkin) is exactly the kind of troubled teenager we’re used to seeing in independent American movies.
He’s bullied at school, in love with an unbelievably beautiful and understandably unattainable class-mate Adrianna (Emma Roberts), his parents Mickey (Alec Baldwin) and Brenda (Jill Hennessey) hate ever second they spend with each other, while Adriana’s parents Charlie (Timothy Hutton) and Melissa (Cynthia Nixon) are struggling to cope with the paranoia and lethargy that comes from Charlie’s Lyme Disease.
This film follows Scott during a period of his life which sees his older brother (real life older brother Kieran Culkin) visiting during a break from the army, infidelities being discovered, true loves being uncovered – so – as I said – pretty much like any other independent American movie.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
There’s nothing particularly wrong with this film – but it feels horribly familiar – even down to its turn-of-the-80s setting.
And while the performances are without exception faultless, and the plot points in our own lives would be tremendously powerful drama, cinematically, there’s almost nothing original going on; forbidden love among the kids, forbidden love among the adults, jealousy and vengeance in the suburbs – themes that have been done many times before.
Despite – or maybe because of – the predictable grind of the simple, linear narrative, the film feels small and there’s a sense in which it’s only when the end credits start to roll that we’re offered anything that wasn’t sign-posted long in advance.
It’s not a bad movie by any means, but many other film-makers have walked this path before, wearing it out somewhat.
If you’re a fan of such indie fare – or not tired of seeing the same film over and over again – Lymelife is a slickly produced, passable tale, effectively homing in on how an insular approach to the small things in your own life often means you miss the bigger picture in the lives of those around you. Told from Scott’s point of view, the rather depressing conclusion appears to be that ultimately, you can’t really change anything anyway – you just have to sit and wait long enough for life to do the changing.