Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Affecting indie drama takes on mature themes.

Movie R 2009 94 minutes
Lymelife Poster Image

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Atmospheric and powerful, LYMELIFE is a forceful drama propelled by fine performances and first-rate storytelling. The actors -- from the surprisingly vulnerable Baldwin and a haunting Hutton to the revelatory Roberts, who may just be the next Anne Hathaway -- clearly brought their A game to the set. Ditto for director Derick Martini, who deserves credit for allowing his cast room to stretch. The script, by Martini and his brother, Steven, is lyrical, making the most of the Lyme disease symbolism without overplaying it. And witty; even though it's a drama, there are some very funny parts.

But the film does mix a few too many metaphors: There are the deer bearing deadly ticks, the trains whose screeching Long Islanders can never seem to avoid, the dream house that's never lived in. A slightly leaner script could only have improved an already strong movie. But that's hair-splitting; though Lymelife covers the same queasy, family-dysfunction terrain as The Ice Storm and The Squid and the Whale, it does so with a quiet discipline that serves it well. Each character is maddening yet completely understandable. It especially captures the confusion of adolescence, when you feel poised to conquer the world but are confounded by a world that not even adults can fully comprehend.

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