Uncategorized

Lymelife

Uncategorized
Caffeinated Clint
@http://www.twitter.com/clintmoviehole

Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

By Brian Orndorf

“Lymelife” is certainly an impassioned motion picture. However, it’s not exactly a revolutionary one, guiding the viewer back into the cancerous heart of suburbia, circa the hazy, crazy 1970s. Brought lucidly to life by director Derick Martini, “Lymelife” suffers from a case of the blahs reaching from story to performance that holds it back from becoming the truly soulful, penetrating experience it aspires to be.

Growing up on the fringe of a burgeoning upscale Long Island housing development, teenaged Scott (Rory Culkin) can only bear silent witness to the chaos around him. With his father (Alec Baldwin) cheating on his mother (Jill Hennessy) with a co-worker (Cynthia Nixon), his conflicted older brother (Kieran Culkin) on break from his controversial military duty, and his object of desire (Emma Roberts) preferring the comfort of older boys while her father (Timothy Hutton) suffers from the ravages of Lyme disease, Scott internalizes his pain, trying to grow up as fast as possible to escape the punishing confines of his community.

As predictable as “Lymelife” is, Martini at least attempts to introduce some visual personality into his debut feature. A rare low-budget production shot on film, “Lymelife” looks fantastic, capturing the chilly Long Island air, bringing out the autumnal colors, and isolating the characters with measured anamorphic framing. The picture has a distinct visual thumbprint about it that also includes specifically emotive editing patterns, blending into a feature that holds attention superficially through exemplary technical achievements.

Dramatically, “Lymelife” doesn’t hold much water. To cry about Martini’s lackluster story is missing the point; the real challenge of the picture is watching the director reanimate these clichés. Scott’s coming of age arc is handled roughly, staged as an after school special with R-rated ornamentation. Part of the problem is Culkin’s sullen, lifeless performance, which feels more consumed with period costume and hair than the careful pronunciation of adolescent frustration. Martini’s shortcuts in depiction also hurt the intended spiritual effect, boiling down the character to a highlight reel of teen angst (drinking, sex, and daddy are all covered) without any chance for the experiences to credibly breathe.

“Lymelife” can be incredibly suffocating at times, especially with a demanding ensemble to take care of and only 90 minutes of screen time to arrange the puzzle pieces. Sections are missing from the plot, but the adults hit their bullet points memorably, especially Hennessy, who finds a few captivating notes to work with as the pushover mother figure. Baldwin also scores highly, though with his Long Island background, I’m sure transmitting a depiction of an emotionally stunted father wasn’t too much of a stretch.

Character driven, “Lymelife” can only get so far before the familiarity of the film crushes the life out of it. Martini attempts to manufacture a semblance of suspense with some last-minute gunplay, but it’s awkward and transparent, inviting more confusion than closure. “Lymelife” is an attractive indie film package, but a desperately routine one that shock value cannot salvage.

ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

About Caffeinated Clint

Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

View All Posts

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

captcha

Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Uncategorized

therover

The Rover

Editorial StaffJune 3, 2014
theraid2comp

Come Join Us At a Private Screening of The Raid 2

Editorial StaffFebruary 27, 2014
grownupslogo

Win a family getaway thanks to Grown Ups 2

Editorial StaffJanuary 21, 2014
celeste

Celeste & Jesse Forever

Caffeinated ClintApril 30, 2013
ironman

Iron Man 3

Caffeinated ClintApril 24, 2013
heiceman

The Iceman

Drew TurneyApril 24, 2013
thehobbit

The Hobbit

Drew TurneyApril 23, 2013
gangstersquad

Gangster Squad

Caffeinated ClintApril 21, 2013
ralph

Wreck-it Ralph

Caffeinated ClintApril 20, 2013

Login

Lost your password?