Complete A-Z list

Lonesome Jim


Stars: Casey Affleck, Liv Tyler, Mary Kay Place, Seymour Cassel, Kevin Corrigan, Mark Boone Jr

Director: Steve Buscemi

No wonder Jim (Affleck) is lonesome. A picture of soft-spoken misery, and with nowhere else to go, he returns to his parents' home - having failed in New York - suffering from 'chronic despair', a condition you may share after watching this long-shelved film.

His father (Cassel) is a grouch, his featherbrained mother (Place) suffocates her sons, and his brother (Corrigan) is even more of a basket case than Jim, who tells him he should be contemplating suicide. Taking Jim up on the idea, Tim rams his car into a tree. While Tim lies comatose, Jim discovers that their uncle (Boone) has been drug-running from the family firm, and Mama (the boss) is soon clapped in irons.

Jim somehow connects with a nurse (Tyler), who sweeps him off for sex at her hospital (as you do). Like Jim, she's a wannabe writer, but these people don't seem too bright, especially as they then have sex on the floor in front of Tim's young daughters.

Whenever this film starts to raise a pertinent point, it ducks it, even to the extent of allowing Jim a semi-happy ending. Place's excellent performance means she's probably the only character who won't annoy you. At times, though, you get the alarming feeling that this is meant to be a comedy: what a depressing thought.

David Quinlan

USA 2005. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour.
91 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 08 Apr 2008