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Lymelife Review


Lymelife is a small but interesting story with really good performances and great characters. This film is a must see for the serious film connoisseur.

My rating 4.5 Stars

Lymelife is a semi auto-biographical story of brothers, Derick Martini and Steven Martini depicting aspects of their lives as they grew up in the ‘70s in Long Island, NY. The film tells the story of two families living in the ‘70s during an outbreak of Lyme disease. In the first family, (the Braggs) the father had been living with the condition for quite some time. Through the Braggs we see the hardships of living with someone with the disease. In the second family, (the Bartletts) the mother is in constant fear of her family—especially one of her sons—getting the disease.

The movie first focuses on the young romance between two teens, Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin) and Adrianna Bragg (Emma Roberts). Scott is shy while Adrianna is not. At first Scott is so shy he does not know how to be up-front and with Adrianna to let her know that he likes her. Adrianna does like him and she does send clear signals. However, since he does not the seize moment, she gets frustrated with him. In turn Adrianna is seen hanging out with other boys who do give her attention. When Scott sees this, he mistakes it for a she-doesn’t-like-me attitude.

Along with the young romance there is another story that develops between four characters. Scott’s parents, (Mickey Bartlett [Alec Baldwin] and Brenda Bartlett [Jill Hennessy]) are a very unhappy couple, because Brenda’s life is stuck in the past and Mickey’s life is focused on the future. Neither one lives in the present, so they never meet in the middle and they both have lost touch with each another. Adrianna’s parents are Charlie Bragg (Timothy Hutton) and Melissa Bragg (Cynthia Nixon). They are another unhappy couple mainly because Charlie has been living with Lyme disease for a long time and therefore unable to work, leaving Melissa to be the sole breadwinner and resenting Charlie for it.

Lymelife is a simple, but decent movie. Both the story and the characters were very well written and developed; I enjoyed them very much, especially the performances by Alec and Jill. There was one scene where Brenda had had enough of Mickey and they engaged in a heated argument. The chemistry between the two actors was quite impressive. You really felt the emotions between the two; you really felt that they were in fact a married couple with serious issues. The hate pouring from Jill Hennessy in the scene was very scary.

Alec and Jill were not the only great performances in the film. Both Nixon and Hutton were exquisite also. You could believe without a doubt the frustration between the two anytime they were on screen.  Towards the end, there is an intense scene where Melissa is expressing her feelings to her husband; however, Charlie was not having a good “Lyme day”. (Charlie is also a hunter and familiar with the rifle.) We see Charlie doing something next to his bed while his wife yells at him. We already know that he keeps his rifle on his side of the bed. Melissa knows this, however her anger does not let her register that he’s loading his rifle. I loved this part, because the film makers and the actors did a great job here at keeping you on the edge of your seat. Nixon was awesome; you can see the aggravation in her expression, you can see that she is angry enough not to notice that he’s loading a weapon. That part was a very intense and suspenseful, that was a nice surprise, since this was not supposed to be a suspenseful movie.

While the story is very strong and well thought out, I thought that for the most part, at least for the first two-thirds of the movie that is was just a little weak for my taste. There were points in the movie where I was bored and I kept hoping for something interesting to happen, however I was rewarded in the end. The film was like listening to Bolero, where tension builds and builds until it blows up in the end. The movie is not for everyone, only those who really love film will appreciate this piece. If you’re among them, I definitely recommend watching Lymelife. If you like explosions and car chases, this is not for you.

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