VIDEO: The trailer for Lymelife
Like many of the bastard offspring of American Beauty and Little Miss Sunshine, Derick Martini's quirky, frustrating directorial debut seems to believe that a dystopian view of suburbia will suffice for a film, without the need of an engine to drive the story (or really any story at all).
Set on late-'70s Long Island, Lymelife follows 15-year-old Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin, Macaulay's brother) as he lusts after neighbor girl Adrianna (Emma Roberts) while the marriage of his parents (Alec Baldwin and Jill Hennessy) crumbles. It's a picture show of ennui, hormones, rage, and regret rendered into what passes for offbeat comedy these days.
Blessed with an outstanding cast (particularly Kieran Culkin duplicating his role as Rory's real-life brother), Martini achieves some stirring moments, but he can't sustain them. Sadness is not inherently significant, and though teenagers don't have to justify their existence, films about them certainly do.