Brief Thoughts on Lymelife

Sunday, April 25, 2010 12:34 PM By Simon

During the outbreak of lyme disease in the late seventies, in Long Island, two families are effected. Bartletts, consisting of Brenda (Jill Hennessy), the mother who longs for their old life in Queens, Mickey (Alec Baldwin), is kind of a dick, who's always cheating on his wife and making no secret of it, et cetera, Jimmy (Kieran Culkin), the older son who's on leave from the Army, and Scott (Rory Culkin), the youngest and least fucked up of the family. On the other side is the Braggs, with Charlie (Timothy Hutton), the father, who got infected with the disease on a hunting trip with Mickey, and who now spends his time unable to work, drinking and skulking about the woods with a rifle, Melissa (Cynthia Nixon), the mother who now must make the money, and who's having an affair with Mickey, and daughter Adrianna (Emma Roberts), who Scott's been in love with his whole life.

What makes this any different from any other films in the subgenre of suburban-family-behind-closed-doors? Absolutely nothing.

That's not to say it was bad. It was pretty entertaining, all things considered. It just brought nothing new to the table. Extramarital affairs, strung-out wives, teenage crushdom leading up to awkward sex scenes, fights between parents, fights between siblings, fights between neighbors, fights between father and son, mother and son, fights, fights, lots of fights. Lots of drama. What looks like a happy ending always leads up to death, though I like how they went about it here. Nothing very special about the performances, Emma Roberts was okay, Hutton (who I just spent the whole time feelings bad for) and Nixon were fine, Baldwin was screamy and hammy and whatnot, Hennessey was good, the Culkins (none of them can seem to do a movie without another, has anyone else noticed that) were, I guess, very good. But, story-wise, execution wise, it was all very routine.


The Taxi Driver said...

Not as good as the Ice Storm but a lot better than Thumbsucker of Chubscrubber or whatever the hell it was called. Good review.

April 25, 2010 at 8:48 PM