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Theatrical release poster
Directed byDerick Martini
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyFrank Godwin
Edited by
  • Derick Martini
  • Steven Martini
  • Mark Yoshikawa
Music by
Bartlett Films[1]
Distributed byScreen Media Films[1]
Release dates
  • September 8, 2008 (2008-09-08) (TIFF)
  • April 8, 2009 (2009 -04-08) (United States; limited)
Running time
94 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States[1]
Budget$1.5 million [3]
Box office$526,245[4]

Lymelife is a 2008 American comedy-drama film written by brothers Derick Martini and Steven Martini, and directed by Derick Martini, depicting aspects of their life in 1970s Long Island from a teenager's perspective. It stars Alec Baldwin, Rory Culkin, Kieran Culkin and Emma Roberts.[5] Martin Scorsese served as an executive producer. The film debuted at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival[6] in September 2008, and won the International Federation of Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI).[7] After its theatrical release in 2009, writer director Derick Martini was nominated for a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Director.


Set in 1979 Syosset, Long Island, New York, Lymelife follows two families, the Bartletts and the Braggs, who crumble when tangled relationships, real-estate problems, and Lyme disease converge in the heart of suburbia. 15-year-old Scott Bartlett is a gentle boy, radically different from his blustery father Mickey and mother Brenda. An outbreak of Lyme disease, as well as the accompanying paranoia, hits their community hard.

When the Bartlett's neighbor, Charlie Bragg, is diagnosed with the illness, Charlie is unable to work and his wife Melissa must keep the income flowing herself. She is hired by Mickey, a friendly favor motivated by lust. Mickey's history of philandering is one of the many things upsetting Brenda. Scott has been in love with the Braggs' one year-older daughter Adrianna for all his life; she is starting to return his interest.

Charlie spends days hiding in his basement, while his wife believes he is in Manhattan on job interviews. He is obsessed with hunting deer. Scott and Charlie have a good relationship, one of the only ones Charlie is able to maintain throughout his illness. Things heat up when Jimmy, Scott's older brother, comes home from the army on their mom's birthday. Brenda leaves early from Jimmy's going-away party when it is clear that there is a relationship between Mickey and Melissa. Jimmy and Mickey have a confrontation.

Scott learns of the affair and confronts his mother. Adrianna helps him through this, but shuns him after a rumor spread from a lie he tells a friend. Brenda kicks Mickey out of the house and is once again able to act the role of an effective parent. Charlie also confronts Mickey after he inadvertently witnesses the affair; when his wife finds out that he has been letting her earn the family's keep, she packs to leave. Scott and Adrianna reconnect and lose their virginity to each other. Brenda lets Mickey spend the night at their house but on the couch.



The film had a budget of $1.5 million.[3] Portions of the film were shot at Montclair High School in Montclair, New Jersey.[8]


The film began its North American theatrical release in April 2009. Initially, Lymelife was only shown on screens in New York and Los Angeles but eventually expanded to 35 screens. The film grossed $421,307 in the United States and an additional $104,938 internationally for a total worldwide gross of $526,245.[4]


The film premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival[5] and won the International Federation of Film Critics award (FIPRESCI).[7] The film received a 63% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 109 reviews; the average rating is 6.1/10. The consensus states: "Lymelife features sharp performances, but the story lacks the emotional depth or focus worthy of its talented cast."[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Lymelife (2009)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "LYMELIFE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2012-09-22.
  3. ^ a b "Indie Wire "Lymelife"". indie wire. 7 January 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Lymelife". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Vlessing, Etan (August 14, 2008). "Toronto puts 'Lymelife' in Discovery lineup: Alec Baldwin starrer will have world premiere at the festival". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
  6. ^ Evans, Ian (2008). "Lymelife premiere at TIFF 2008". Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  7. ^ a b "9/13/2008 | Festival Closes 2008 Edition With Awards Announcement". Toronto International Film Festival. September 13, 2008. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  8. ^ Read, Philip (May 13, 2008). "Montclair on screens big and small". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved August 21, 2008. Earlier this spring, filmmakers quietly lined up Montclair High to film Lymelife, a drama that chronicles the moral deterioration of a family as it navigates the pitfalls of a failing marriage.
  9. ^ "Lymelife (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 11, 2018.

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