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A Home at the End of the World (2004)

Home at the End of the World. Feature film. (2004, 97 mins) IMDB

...those 70s hairdos were replaced with even wilder 80s hairdos...

T

his film is one of those films I wanted to like a great deal more than I did, but I could never get to that point. Perhaps what I'm saying is I wanted to love it, but never did and that might be asking too much because there aren't many films I love.

Too much happens in the film, over decades, to summarize it with a sentence or two. We meet our hero as a nine-year old boy with an older brother who is a spaced-out on drugs. When he walks through a plate-glass window, a chard punctures his neck and he dies.

Flashforward a few years where Bobby is now in high school. He smokes drugs and befriends Jonathon. They are both on the fringes of society. They are friendly in a way that suggests they are gay and it turns out at least one is gay.

Bobby lost his brother, then his mother and now his father. He goes to live with Jonathon and his parents. He corrupts the mother if that's the right word. Bobby likes to smoke joints and in a scene that defies believability, this 15 year old shares one with Jonathon's mother, dances with her. There is something about the mother that is incredibly odd. It's as if she is exist in autopilot. Someone who cooks, bakes and does the laundry. Anything beyond that and her brain doesn't function.

At some point, we're never told, Jonathon moves out to the big city and Bobby gets a job working in a bakery. He likes to bake. I can relate to that.

He's happy with his life until the parents, his adoptive parents, decide to move to the desert and he is forced to find his own way. This leads him to NYC and Jonathon and his older friend, Clare.

The rest of the film deals with the three of them living together and not living together.

Clare loves Jonathon but he's gay and they never seem to acknowledge that. That's another part of the film I find completely unbelievable. Is she blind? Is he ashamed or in denial? I'm not sure.

When Bobby enters the picture, it's Bobby and Clare. The first time they are in bed he makes the declaration that he's never done this before. That he's a virgin. Give me a break.

At some point Clare becomes pregnant. It's never stated who the father is, but it surely must be Bobby. The three decide to leave the congestion of NYC and move to a farm house for the sake of the child.

Not a lot changes. Yes, there's a new baby girl and the three plus baby live in a farm instead of an apartment, but to what end? To live I suppose. Just another collect of people living on this planet.

The ending is completely subtle. There are hints that Jonathon contracted AIDs. It fits the time and his profile. And Clare packs up and leaves with her daughter on a short trip that isn't apparently short, even though it was her money that purchased the property. I doubt that someone in that situation would be so oblique. Words would be said to make it clear.

I found the hairstyles to be a complete distraction. The cropped bangs, straight across, didn't seem right. It was as if a chimp was the hairdresser.

Aging is never kind to anyone, but it seems particularly curl to blonde females. At least in Robin Wright's case we can always pop in the DVD to THE PRINCESS BRIDE.

Posted 2009/04/26 at 22h19ET in Movie Commentary.

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