It has taken Lymelife almost two years to find its way onto DVD, having done well on the festival circuit last year and boasting a very impressive cast, Derick Martini’s film is a coming of age drama which seeks to find its own identity in the crowd of similar fare.
Em wrote an excellent review here, and spoke to the director Derick Martini here and both are required reading as there is much to recommend this film, which bats away the easy comparisons to American Beauty and The Ice Storm with its ensemble cast being the biggest weapon in its arsenal. Martini was blessed with a very strong cast whose intimate and understated performances resonate throughout the film, and his confidence in his storytelling allows an organic flow of narrative in which our interest ebbs and flows but ultimately we are carried along, engaged and invested.
Those currently enjoying Scott Pilgrim will no doubt be won over by Kieran Culkin’s wonderfully deadpan performance and it is he and his brother Rory who provide the film’s best moments. Alec Baldwin’s embodiment of dysfunction is a little too broad on the page but is given extra dimension in his moments with Cynthia Nixon and the aforementioned elder Culkin.
It’s no surprise that the moments when the characters pair up offer the film’s highlights and there’s much to enjoy with Rory Culkin’s awkward courting of Emma Roberts’s Adrianna as well as Timothy Hutton and Cynthia Nixon’s battered and embittered meltdown and while there is a light touch to some of the moments of self discovery there’s a lot to this story than volcanic family dysfunction and gazing at navels.
For a film which debuted in Toronto nearly two years ago and had only a limited theatrical release across the world I’m hopeful that Lymelife will find an audience with the DVD release today. There’s enough star power in the cast to catch the eye of the DVD shelf broswer and if you give it a chance the subtle charm of Lymelife will win you over.