A nearly perfect cast more than compensates for the over familiarity of elements of Lymelife, the umpteenth coming-of-age drama to roll out of Indiewood in recent years. Derick Martini's film has the gangly, awkward boy crushing on the cute girl next door, the two dysfunctional families they come from and assorted scenes with an over-compensating older brother, a bully and teens really stumbling into sex.
But it has the peerless Alec Baldwin, as an over-reaching Long Island developer dad and philanderer, who goes toe to toe with a terrific Jill Hennessy as his Catholic, provincial uprooted Queens wife. Cynthia Nixon brings brittle bitterness as the breadwinner wife to Lyme Disease sufferer Timothy Hutton (his most dazzling turn in decades). They utterly overshadow the more-than-adequate kid actors playing at coming-of-age -- Rory Culkin is the cheating developer's son, Emma Roberts is the mercurial tease he's grown up with.
It's 1979, Long Island is in a Lyme Disease panic with moms duct-taping their kids' clothes, and poor Ray (Hutton) -- the avid deer hunter of the neighborhood -- gives an agonizing, ashen face to the consequences of this deer-tick illness. Nothing that deep happens here, from the "I won't be like my parents" ethos. But the disease that tears down the veneer of normality makes a nice metaphor and the players dazzle.
Screening at: 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, Regal; 9:30 p.m. Saturday, April 4, Enzian.