Lymelife has a whole lot of big names attached to it. Martin Scorsese is given an executive producer credit. Both William and Alec Baldwin produced (Alec starred in the talented ensemble cast). Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton plays a downtrodden father who gets Lyme disease from a deer tick. Not to mention two Culkin brothers! It’s not really a surprise that the film is success. It already won the International Critics’ Award at TIFF last year.
Scott Bartlet (Rory Culkin) is a typical 15-year-old boy growing up in late-1970s Long Island. His suburban existence is primarily marked by a nerdy interest in Star Wars, fending off bullies at high school, his longtime crush on neighbor/best friend Adrianna Bragg (Emma Roberts), and navigating the dysfunctional terrain of his parents’ rocky marriage–all against the paranoid backdrop of a Lyme disease outbreak, which has freaked out Scott’s high strung mother, Brenda (Jill Hennessy), and has already claimed Adrianna’s father, Charlie (Timothy Hutton) as a victim. With Charlie out of work due to his illness, Adrianna’s mother, Melissa (Cynthia Nixon), takes a job working for Scott’s father, Mickey (Alec Baldwin), a successful real-estate developer, and soon embarks on a messy affair. When eldest son Jimmy (Kieran Culkin) returns from army training and confronts his father about Mickey’s less-than-discreet adultery, both families are forever changed by the devastating consequences.
The film is especially impressive as it’s Derick Martini’s directorial debut. He co-wrote the script with brother Steve Martini (who penned the terrific original score) and also produced. The film is hilarious with some very touching moments that keep the film grounded. The ensemble cast is terrific as well. Rory Culkin may end up having a more successful career than older brother Macaulay. Although Lymelife has a few missteps, it will provide most with an enjoyable story of the dysfunctional American family that may hit closer to home than is comfortable. Be warned though, the pitchblack humor may not be for everyone.