Lymelife (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  12 November 2009 (Russia)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 12,665 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 52 user | 158 critic | 19 from

A family unit begins to bow under the pressure of a failing marriage.


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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Phillip Pennestri ...
Louis Ruffolo Jr. ...
Beepers ...


Set in the late 70's, seen through the innocent eyes of a fifteen year old boy, SCOTT, "Lymelife" is a unique take on the dangers of the American Dream. This funny, sad, violent and sometimes tragic look at first love, family dynamics and divorce weaves an intricate tapestry of American life during a time of drastic economic and emotional change. Written by TIFF

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The American Dream Sucks


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual content, violence and drug use | See all certifications »

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Official Sites:




Release Date:

12 November 2009 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Borelioza  »

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Recipient of the Toronto Film Festival's International Critic's Award. See more »


In the transitional shot from the scene where Scott's mother attempts to force him to apologize to a boy he just beat up, a passing train is visible in the background. Though the story is supposed to take place in Long Island, the train is distinctively a NJ Transit train, not a Long Island RR train. See more »


Scott Bartlett: Maybe you should've had a girl, they tell their mothers everything.
Brenda Bartlett: Maybe you should have asked God for a mother who doesn't care about her children!
See more »


References Donahue (1967) See more »


Feel Like Making Love
Written by Paul Rodgers (as P. Rodgers), Mick Ralphs (as M. Ralphs)
Performed by Bad Company
Courtesy of Atco Records/Elektra Entertainment Group
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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User Reviews

A quality addition . . .
18 June 2009 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

"You can take the girl outta Queens, am I right?" Mickey Bartlett (Alec Baldwin as Mickey Bartlett)

Dysfunctional families as a theme reached its apotheosis ten years ago in Sam Mendes' American Beauty, a rich blend of realism and fancy involving real estate, coming of age, and infidelity. Just about the same territory is covered in Derick Martini's Lymelife, only this time the metaphors seem forced, the characters less developed, and the denouement less ambiguous.

Lymelife, however, is a quality addition to the deconstruction of the American dream. It's 1979 America, and Mickey Bartlett (Alec Baldwin) has a burgeoning business developing upscale homes on Long Island. His family life is in decline as witnessed by 15 year old central character Jimmy Bartlett (Kieran Culkin), the only one whose prospects with babe next door, Adrianna Bragg (Emma Roberts), get better with each of his endearing humiliations. Mickey is a philanderer (he is played by Baldwin, after all), a spendthrift, and family neglecter, all of which must be addressed by the film's ambitious albeit incomplete plot.

The story moves gently but inexorably to a strong conclusion, where things seem to settle into their appointed fates, more an affirmation that American life between here and American Beauty hasn't changed much with its defeats and victories abundant. While Lymelife (a reference to the disease present in Long Island and a cumbersome metaphor) gains no new insights about our materialism and sexual exploration, it does present a true look at a time when this American life might have been more complicated than it is now.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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