2005Director: Kevin Bacon
Cast: Kyra Sedgwick, Dominic Scott-Kay, Sandra Bullock
enerally, when a theater is completely empty during the first few weeks of a film’s release, the screen holds either criminally overlooked art or excruciating tripe. Kevin Bacon’s directorial debut leans toward the latter. Loverboy thrashes about blindly, searching in vain for some sort of purpose, but ultimately finds none outside of irritating its “audience.”
Emily (Kyra Sedgewick, Bacon’s wife) is an eccentric woman of independent means who has never yearned for a normal life. Eschewing the picket fence and traditional nuclear family, she longs to produce a child with whom to spend her days. To demonstrate Emily’s determination to get pregnant, Bacon treats the viewer to about ten minutes of her exploits in casual sex, as well as some impressive 40 year-old nudity.
Once the conception and infancy montages are out of the way, the story fast-forwards to show Emily’s progeny as a six year-old. The young boy, Paul, has one constant in his existence, his mother. Emily meticulously crafts her son’s environment, providing him with alternative education and relentlessly fostering his imagination. She treats him like the prince every loving mother believes her son to be, but when Paul expresses a desire for a social life extending beyond his mom’s watch, Emily transforms into a jealous psychopath. There is a Golem “my precious!” joke somewhere here, but it’s been beaten to death at this point.
The vast majority of the film centers on Paul’s need to explore the outside world and its effect on Emily. Instead of engendering sympathy in the viewer for her sense of loss, Emily’s actions prompt the urge to reach through the screen to deliver an unending series of slaps. She’s the only character with any depth, and she’s about as likeable as genital warts. There’s some backstory about a childhood filled with neglect intended to explain her unhealthy dotage, but one is hard-pressed to care. Because Emily is so unsympathetic and no other characters help carry the load, Loverboy can’t help but sink.
That said, the film’s failures surpass bad characters and a DOA premise. The behavior exhibited by Emily and company is often inexplicable (she allows her beloved son to accompany, without supervision, a stranger on a fishing trip), many of the themes presented are later rehashed without the addition of anything new, and mortifyingly corny aphorisms are passed off as thinking points. Bacon’s film is an annoying waste of time; devoid of redeeming qualities. Avoid it at all costs.
Loverboy is currently playing in select cities.
By: Kevin Worrall
Published on: 2006-06-23