Films & Schedules

  • Lymelife

  • Derick Martini

93 minutes

Production Company:
Martini Bros.Production/Cappa De Fina Films/El Dorado Pictures
Executive Producer:
Martin Scorsese, Leonard Loventhal
Steven Martini, Jon Cornick, Barbara De Fina, Alec Baldwin, Michele Tayler, Angela Somerville
Derick Martini, Steven Martini
Production Designer:
Kelly McGehee
Frank Godwin
Derick Martini, Steven Martini, Mark Yoshikawa
David Van Slyke
Steven Martini
Principal Cast: Alec Baldwin, Kieran Culkin, Rory Culkin, Jill Hennessy, Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon, Emma Roberts

International Sales Agent:
William Morris Independent

TIFF Tags: Family  Coming Of Age/Youth 

Monday September 0809:30PM RYERSON Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Tuesday September 0909:15PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 2 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Thursday September 1103:00PM RYERSON Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Saturday September 1305:00PM VARSITY 8 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Lymelife is a long-awaited sophomore effort that does not disappoint. This poignant follow-up to screenwriters Derick and Steven Martini's Goat on Fire and Smiling Fish, which won the 1999 Festival's Discovery Award, is an engaging and authentic coming-of-age story.

Set in late-seventies Long Island, Lymelife follows two families who crumble when tangled relationships, real estate problems and Lyme disease converge in the heart of suburbia. Fifteen-year-old Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin) is a gentle boy, radically different from his blustery father Mickey (Alec Baldwin) and tightly wired mother Brenda (Jill Hennessy). An outbreak of Lyme disease, as well as the accompanying paranoia, hits their suburban community hard. When the Bartletts' neighbour Charlie Bragg (Timothy Hutton) is diagnosed with the illness, Brenda calms her fears by duct-taping Scott's cuffs shut.

Despite the onset of this mysterious ailment, the two families are quite busy. Since Charlie is unable to work, his wife Melissa (Cynthia Nixon) must keep the income flowing herself. She is hired by Mickey, who is the developer of an enormous subdivision, and though this gesture is a friendly favour, it is also patently motivated by lust. Mickey's history of philandering is one of the many things upsetting his wife Brenda, who yearns for the comfort of their old neighbourhood in Queens. And growing up amid this marital cocktail is Scott, who has been in love with the Braggs' daughter Adrianna (Emma Roberts) for all of his young life. The news – both good and bad – is that she is starting to return his interest.

Things really heat up when Jimmy (Kieran Culkin), Scott's older brother, comes home on leave from the army. Jimmy shares many of his father's personality traits, and his confrontations with Mickey trigger events that permanently alter both families.

While Hennessy, Nixon and Roberts acquit themselves very well here, Lymelife is really a movie about men, and testosterone runs through it like a river. Hutton gives us a desperate man grasping for his last strand of strength and Baldwin moves between terror and tenderness like no other actor can. The real heart of the film, however, is the shoulder-punching camaraderie of the Culkins as the Bartlett brothers, along with whom we laugh, cry, and get our noses bloodied.

Jane Schoettle

Derick Martini was born in New York City. He co-wrote, produced and acted in the award-winning Goat on Fire and Smiling Fish (99). Lymelife (08) is his first feature as director.

Cadillac People's Choice Award