A HOME AT THE END
OF THE WORLD
Movie Review by Neils Hesse
Starring: Colin Farrell, Robin Wright Penn, Sissy Spacek, Dallas Roberts, Harris Allan
Director: Michael Mayer
We first meet Bobby in Cleveland sometime in the sixties as a young boy where his elder groovy brother is just slowly introducing him to drugs like LSD and generally to taking everything easy. A tragic accident leads to the death of his beloved brother and soon his mother follows leaving Bobby to grow up with his dad. Now in high school, Bobby befriends a young boy called Jonathan and soon enough the two of them become inseparable. Bobby becomes especially close to Jonathan's mother (Sissy Spacek) after one hilarious scene where he convinces her to join him and Jonathan in smoking a joint, they all end up happily puffing away. Bobby and Jonathan end up getting a little bit too close for comfort as they start off by masturbating each other, which then leads to some passionate kissing. When Bobby's father passes away he moves in with Jonathan but then Jonathan decides that he wants to leave Cleveland and Bobby for a fresh start in Manhattan.
We catch up with an older Bobby (Colin Farrell) in the eighties where he is still living with Jonathan's parents but they too are moving away and they encourage him to go out and find his own way after all he is an adult now. Bobby travels to Manhattan where he is reunited with Jonathan (Dallas Roberts). He also meets Jonathan's flat mate Clare (Robin Wright Penn) who immediately takes a shine to him. After a while Clare gets her way and ends up in a relationship with Bobby as Jonathan has now become an outright homosexual. Jonathan finds himself getting jealous as Bobby's relationship blossoms with Clare so he decides to leave and only when his father dies do they all meet again.
With Clare now pregnant and carrying Bobby's baby, the three of them decide to move out to the country to bring up their child. For a while everybody seems happy and content but one evening Clare happens to see Bobby and Jonathan passionately dancing on the porch and she finally accepts the fact that as hard as she may try she will never get that kind of love from either of them, so she decides to leave. Bobby and Jonathan are once again just the two of them.
Colin Farrell gives a vulnerable performance as a man who is not necessarily gay but is quite obviously in love with a man who is in many ways a brother to him but is also his one true love. Dallas Roberts gives a very convincing performance as a homosexual who loves his friend but is also envious of him in many ways. Supporting acts from Robin Wright Penn and Sissy Spacek bring even more credibility to the film.
Still the film has too much of an average TV drama feel to it. There is no empathy for the characters and as such even when they seem to be going through turmoil the audience is left feeling disconnected from what they are going through.
This should boost Colin Farrell's gay audience but it is not particularly cinema worthy, best viewed at home.