I picked Lymelife because of the Culkins. Say what you will about parents who insist on breeding for the business, those Culkins can act. We spend the majority of our time with the younger Culkin, Rory who plays Scott, your average teenager with an overprotective mother who loves to cover his cuffs and collars with duct tape due to the recent outbreak of lyme disease. As we spend more time with Scott and his family we see what is really eating away at them is unrequited lust, infidelity and dysfunction, while the community is undergoing a growing class divide between the upper and lower middle class.
The interaction between the brothers when we meet the elder Culkin Kieran, playing Jimmy is completely naturalistic down to the mocking way the older brother openly hits on the object of Scott’s affection. Alec Baldwin continues his reign as king of the entertaining douchebags playing the father to Jill Hennessy’s manic homemaker. The cast is rounded out by an almost unrecognizable Timothy Hutton playing the walking cautionary tale of the local lyme disease victim and Cynthia Nixon playing his wife and caretaker. The ingenue is played by Emma Roberts who appears to be working on shedding the Nickelodeon image in this indie pic.
I had this film almost exactly in the middle of my week, and it woke me up and reminded that this is the kind of movie I love to see at the festival. This isn’t something that can be sold in a 10-second pitch, it’s a story that requires you appreciate the performances, the chemistry between the cast and makes you agonize along with the characters as they make similar choices to the ones we are confronted with in our regular lives.
My random thought before this movie is that the Culkins and the Fannings should breed and create a super-race of child actors with limpid eyes and rosebud lips. I hadn’t really slept the night before and this one was at the end of a 5-movie day.