Rory Culkin, Alec Baldwin, Emma Roberts, Jill Hennessy, Kieran Culkin, Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon
Melissa: Charlie is not the guy that I married.
Mickey: Well, we all change somewhat, no?
Melissa: Yeah, I know, but God, why me?? I mean…a bus, a robbery, an accident…but Lyme Disease!?
Mickey: Hey, look, you’re not the one who HAS Lyme disease, right…?
Fifteen year old Scott (Rory Culkin) is having a difficult, confusing time in several areas. His parents are clearly unhappy together, he gets bullied at school, and the girl, Adrianna (Roberts), he’s been friends with for years (and has a huge crush on) seems to be interested in some other guy. When Scott’s brother, Jimmy (Kieran Culkin), visits while on leave from the military, even more family drama erupts. Meanwhile, Adrianna’s parents, Charlie (Hutton) and Melissa (Nixon) are dealing with their own marital problems. Charlie has Lyme disease and hasn’t been able to work or do much else. Melissa can’t understand what’s wrong with him and is tired of carrying the family on her back.
This is one angry movie. Everybody is either depressed, grumbling, or straight up yelling about something most of the time. There’s fighting, lying, and arguments at every turn. So much so that by the end of it I was just worn down by it all.
I guess I’d say most of the performances were good, but all that’s saying is that the actors effectively made me dislike them. I liked the romance between Scott and Adrianna, but that was sprinkled in throughout constant scenes of turmoil.
And what does it all amount to? What’s the point of the movie. It’s called Lymelife, and yes there’s a character with Lyme disease, but that struggle isn’t the central point of the movie, and frankly I don’t really see the point of bringing it into a coming of age movie at all. Maybe I’m too dense to understand the parallels being drawn between Charlie’s struggle with the disease and the struggles of the other characters in the film. It all just didn’t mesh for me.
Having a friend who suffers from Lyme disease, I’ve heard plenty about the daily struggles, depression, misdiagnosis, etc., and the movie did an okay job of expressing that. I just wish they hadn’t painted the character as being so pathetic. Maybe, being set in the 70s, the disease was even less understood and acknowledged back then, so they were showing how frustrating and damaging it could be. I’m not sure. I just know that it added even more to the unpleasantness of the movie.
To sum up: it looked good, was acted well, and was borderline unwatchable. I think the scenes between the kids saved it. Even if Emma Roberts’ acting ability tends to run hot and cold…
Keep an eye on those tick bites.
10 – 4 for all the screaming and yelling and arguing – .4 for a confusingly ambiguous ending = 5.6