2005
Rated: R for strong sexual content, nudity, adult language and violence.
Genre: Drama Thriller
Directed By: Kevin Bacon
Running Time: 1:26
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 6/02/07
Special Features:
Director's Commentary

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LOVERBOY

 

It’s almost as if “Loverboy” is a twist on the relationship between Eugenie Rose Chaney and Raymond Shaw in “The Manchurian Candidate,” and in place of the overbearing mom this time is the lovely Kyra Sedgewick who slips in the mantle of psychotic mothers with finesse, and looks good doing it. And most importantly about “Loverboy,” and also the most twisted, is that Sedgewick’s character Emily is willing to do anything to have a baby. And through this she’s engaged in a mission not to have the perfectly child, but to have the perfect mate that she will not let free from her grasp.

How she goes about the perfect child, or one she perceives as one, is rather sketchy, and displays Bacon’s rather odd focus on sex and sex involving Sedgewick. Though it’s not hard to believe why he’d focus on his wife’s enormous sex appeal, the montages of Emily hunting for lovers and seeking the combination of the right genes ultimately displays this character’s lunacy right before her son ever enters the story.  

And “Loverboy” becomes much more of a tragic picture of a woman intent on keeping her son in her grasps, thanks to a childhood of alienation and homoerotic innuendos that allude to the true persona of Sedgewick’s character in the end. Sedgewick is very good here, and even though she’s mainly front and center because of Bacon’s directorial duties, Kyra often provides a strong and convincing performance as this awfully uneasy and potentially deadly woman who will stop at nothing to please her son and keep him at her side. She even makes quick work of a pet bird she feels threatens the perceived undivided attention of her son, who actually craves nothing more but space, and time away from her.

Too often, Bacon attempts sheer art house dribble sequences that more often than not come off flat and goofy. And when he’s not trying to be complex, he peppers the film with terribly campy back story that often seems to serve more as padding than anything. And it’s often times moments that bring the story to a screeching halt, save for Sandra Bullock’s moments that were never too relevant to the overall storyline. When I was sure they served a purpose to the climax, I realized they were also just awfully dull segues that did nothing to contribute to the story other than failing to add depth and reasoning to Emily’s madness. The scenes with Emily’s parents are often ridiculous and forced; they seem to be there just to give Kevin Bacon something to do in front of the camera, instead of leaving him behind the camera to let him flex his directorial abilities.

He’s there as Emily’s father along with Marisa Tomei, and their sub-plot ultimately adds a sense of understanding to Emily’s character, but we’re never sure if we should fear or pity her in the end. Bacon anxiously tries for artistic in this bloated cast and average story, and really just comes off as campy instead; take one slow motion scene involving Emily and her son playing air instruments in the rain. Worse more, the acting by Dominic Scott Kay comes off often disingenuous and forced. When writer Shakespeare often strives for Paul to be maladjusted and smothered, he’s really just comical and stiff, and never convinces us that he’s struggling to break free from Emily. He’s more just a petulant little brat who we really want to smack some sense into. Shakespeare just can never get her characters on a straight path.

In the end, Bacon’s film for his wife is pretty average. The bloated cast doesn’t make up for a safe ending, and flat attempts at art house and back story. But for what it’s worth, Kyra Sedgewick commands the camera well with her performance which makes the film an above par effort.

 

 

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