My friend Alicia and I have been meeting weekly for movie night and the latest installment was a film I had never heard of, Lymelife. I think there is potential in all independent films. They make me think and it is almost more satisfying to find out what I enjoyed about the film as time goes on. Lymelife is no exception. It’s a family and coming-of-age tale set in the 1970s in suburban New York. Rory Culkin as Scott Bartlett is navigating through his teenage years and trying to woo the girl of his dreams Adrianna, played by Emma Roberts. He doesn’t have much inspiration from his parents’ relationship. Alec Baldwin and Jill Hennessy play Mickey and Brenda Bartlett. Scott’s brother Jimmy, back on leave from the military, may be the best role model he has. He is a strong fighter when it comes to his family but is ashamed the military only has him working on administrative duties rather than out on the battle lines.
Scott’s parents individually I think are not happy with their life choices that brought them together somehow. His mom would rather be back in Queens and his father takes it too far with a coworker at his real estate business, who happens to be Adrianna’s mother, Melissa Bragg.
My favorite role and actor is Timothy Hutton as Charlie Bragg, Adrianna’s father. He is apparently suffering from Lyme’s disease and some associated hallucinations, but seems to have the most perspective compared to the other characters.
While the characters fight their respective battles, Mickey Bartlett has a dream house built in a new development. The idea of it seems perfect for a family like theirs, living in a modest middle class house then finally moving up and having a new start.
But, life doesn’t go as planned and the new house is really a sign of everyone in the family coming into their own and going their separate ways.
Charlie Bragg has the last word and the screen goes blank before showing the viewer visually what happens. It’s effective and a appropriate ending to a film of simple meaning that is an appreciated effort at looking into the dynamics of family.