Lymelife (15)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byCassam Looch01/07/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

An ultimately satisfying look at the American dream through the eyes of a typical 15-year-old boy who’s struggling to make sense of his family and surroundings.

What’s it all about?
Set against the backdrop of a deadly outbreak of Lyme disease, Lymelife follows the everyday adventures of Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin) who can see his family falling apart around him. His brother (Kieran Culkin) suddenly returns from the army and although his parents are pleasant enough, his overbearing father (Alec Baldwin) tries (and fails) to motivate his children.

Scott is also infatuated with his neighbour Adrianna (Emma Roberts), who has parent problems of her own. With the local bully taking out his frustrations on Scott, things come to an inevitable pressure point.

The Good
The performances across the board are excellent. The Culkins work wonders and of course have the sibling relationship to back that up, but they also shine in their own terms as well. Roberts teases the boys but manages to also convey the innocence of her character. The stand-out performance is Alec Baldwin, who trundles along at an amiable pace until called on to explode, and explode he does.

The tone of the film is deliberately gentle and this makes for an experience that draws you in without really showing off. Looking back at it, you might be surprised that it involved you as much as it did.

The Bad
The film is not really original in any sense and there are similarities to be spotted all over the place. It compares favourably to the likes of American Beauty but lacks the energy or gritty realism of A Guide to Recognising Your Saints, for example. It’s the very nature of this sort of introspective and deeply personal material that you’ll relate to it in some sense (especially with the coming-of-age element), but a shared experience perhaps shouldn’t be so liberally shared.

Worth seeing?
Some great performances and a great climax make Lymelife an entertaining but forgettable film, which probably just about justifies the price of a cinema ticket.

Film Trailer

Lymelife (15)
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Content updated: 20/04/2019 19:54

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