New York Times - 06/23/2006
"[The] film stealthily pulls out the rug until you suddenly find yourself standing on a cold stone floor, barefoot and shivering."
Emily (Krya Sedgewick) has a single dream in life: to be the perfect mother to an exceptional child. With limitless funds from an inheritance, Emily has total freedom to follow her neurotic monomania. The first step is to conceive a child, and the film depicts her extensive promiscuous pursuits as she roams from city to city, a gamut of one-night stands. Finally her hunt for fertilization pays off, and she gives birth to Paul, her "loverboy." The majority of the story takes place when Paul is six, as Emily raises him with a fawning and sickening obsession. She struts around in various states of undress, kissing him constantly, and their relationship is less mother and child than freakish romance. She refuses to let Paul go to school, and in their allegedly Edenic isolation, they paint with their hands, whisper secrets to sheep, tell fairytales, and go on spontaneous trips to windswept islands. Paul, finally, with the precocious self-awareness typical of screenwritten children, rejects his mother's possessiveness and demands to join the other kids at school. This is more than Emily can handle, and in-between periodic flashbacks to her own traumatic childhood, the movie spirals down towards its inevitable and tragic conclusion.
Adapted from the novel by Victoria Redel, LOVERBOY contains a startling range of cinematic moods. The occasional soft-lit and slow-motion scenes create a dreamy soap opera quality. Montages set to rock music evoke the hip sheen of Sofia Coppola's THE VIRGIN SUICIDES. There are moments of campy comedy, as when Emily catches her neighbor breast feeding Paul as a baby, or in the caricatured depiction of her parents (played with gusto by Marisa Tomei and director Kevin Bacon). At other times, LOVERBOY metamorphoses into a horror film, with Sedgewick cast as the creepily sexy monster. The schizophrenic result is striking portrait of motherhood gone awry, a perverse love story that will leave you unsettled for days afterward.
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