Jim is a young man who, after deciding he can't make it on his own, moves back to his hometown in Indiana -- under his parents' roof. He's saved from his family's dysfunction by a local woman and her son, who sees him as a father figure.Written by
Although I agree with many of the people that this was a good movie, I do not necessarily agree that it had a moral, taught a lesson, etc. The script, as economical as it was, was terrific, not to mention hilarious! There is hardly a wasted line, scene, etc. Nobody overacts. The actors simply just do their jobs. Some of the jokes had me laughing out loud at midnight; e.g., when brother #1 says "awesome" upon learning brother #2 has bedded Liv Tyler, #2 thanks him - to which #1 says "No, I'm thinking her standards are so low I've still got a chance".
The movie is chock full of tiny lines of great dialog. Most are not crafted jokes but simply hilarious circumstantially, as when the protagonist comments on the strength of the stoner's weed and - in a casual aside - the stoner says, "Yeah, I put some crack in". Also, our hero so deftly manages to unintentionally insult everyone and everything while spilling his guts; e.g., believing he's offering profound insight into life but instead degrading the existence of his listeners. These asides and conversations, like much of the dialogue, are not stand alone funny but fit in so well to the mood and of the setting. The setting and circumstances - failed dreams in the Heartland - could be milked for much melodramatic value but is well treated here in a matter-of-fact manner. This movie is true farce. I hate to use clichés but Lonesome Jim is the perfect example of "What you see (and hear) is exactly what you get.
Casey Aflleck could easily have played his role as manic or overly deadpan but finds a great balance. Overlooked is his dad's character, who pulls pathos out of middle America. Liv Tyler displays more skill here than in all her minutes in Lord of the Rings combined. And the stoner uncle, without exaggeration could be a candidate for Best supporting actor. But Mary Kay Place steals the show outright. She is the Everymom of all time. I lost my mom last year and my siblings and I can see now that what we interpreted as mom's naive cheerfulness was actually a profound strength. No small feat to create this observation in a movie which, at times, seems almost completely played for laughs. In fact, the uplifting effect of the movie truly appears as almost an afterthought. Creating something out of nothing is the mark of good art.
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