Dave White
Lonesome Jim Review

Dave's Rating:

4.0

… plays up the bitter realism …

Who's in It: Casey Affleck, Liv Tyler, Mary Kay Place, Seymour Cassel

The Basics: Depressed, failed writer Affleck moves home to the Midwest to live with his cuddly mom, distant dad and suicidal brother. He's bummed by this situation. Then he meets Tyler, and they hit it off. Not so bummed after that.

What's the Deal? You watched Garden State and, if you're like me, you thought to yourself, "What if [Director X] had been in charge of this movie?" Well, now Director X (Steve Buscemi) is in charge. He strips most of the cute off and plays up the bitter realism like they do in small '70s movies about down-and-outers. But the main guy still gets Natalie Portman — sorry, Liv Tyler — at the end. Gotta keep the film-school nerds hopeful.

Old Person Medal of Coolness: Goes to both Place and Cassel as Affleck's alienated parents. They never get their due. They should.

What's Good About It: You don't feel arm-twisted by it, and it keeps the indie film clichés (especially the standard-issue eccentric "average" folks as scenery) to a reasonable level.

Scenes Stolen By: Mark Boone Jr. as Affleck's drug dealer, Uncle Evil.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Sufferers, Beware: The gray dreariness of it all may overwhelm you. You could maybe bring that little sun-lamp thing with you and sit in the back. It might not bug anyone else.

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