I read this book and saw the film at the Hamptons International Film Festival (10/2005). This is a complex and nuanced story about a single mother's obsessive love for her only child. The story explores the psychology of this obsession and the sometimes sublime, sometimes tragic effects it has on the lives of both mother and son. It is a wonderful adaptation of a novel by Victoria Redel (Greywolf 2001, Harcourt 2002 in paperback) that I imagine would present some challenges given its non-linear time frame and the careful parsing of its secret twists and turns. The acting is superb and the characters portrayed are funny, endearing, and multifaceted. Marissa Tomei and Kevin Bacon are hilarious as the 70's era, sexed up, deliriously in love and sadly neglectful parents. Kyra Sedgwick is brilliant as she confidently captures the complex subtleties of her character, making it easy for the audience to empathize with what would otherwise be, and at times is a difficult and disturbing obsessiveness. Other performances by Sandra Bullock as the sultry and insightful neighbor, Oliver Platt as the nervous and nerdy school administrator, and Matt Dillon as the love interest you can't help but root for, all contribute to what is a very entertaining and meaningful film.
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