By robbiefreeling | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog April 7, 2009 at 4:04AM
As long as Levittowns across the nation produce years of standard issue adolescent angst we’ll keep receiving films like Lymelife, the latest in the inexhaustible Sundance-level indie subgenre of mediocre suburban dysfunctional family/coming-of-age dramedies. I fear the problem is not the premise nor the milieu: I was raised in a suburb not too different from this debut’s fictional Long Island village (as performed by Montclair, New Jersey), and I would be more than happy to champion a film that could say and do something original with picket fence- and manicured lawn-set lust and longing. Lymelife, however, seems to go perversely out of its way to avoid originality. By all appearances it’s an autobiographical bildungsroman, right down to a late-Seventies backdrop that too proudly alerts us to the formative pop culture markers (Star Wars, Yoo-Hoo) of its director’s youth — but judging by its rote trajectories and condescending devices, Lymelife instead withers down to a deeply impersonal shell of a film.