Reviews

A Home at the End of the World

By Garth Franklin

Dear Playboy,

I never thought it would happen to me, but... for the first time in a long while I did NOT think of Colin Farrell as JUST a piece of meat to devour. Seems the hottie Irish boy can act damn well too. "A Home at the End of World" is exactly what it appears to be - a sweet, funny little art film that both plays too and avoids cliches whilst proving to be essentially a far more real and enjoyable version of "Threesome".

It's not an entirely smooth adaptation of the Michael Cunningham novel which has been considerably simplified for the big screen whilst the later scenes lack the emotion and power of the early portions, but the acting is superb, the tenderness and humour quite real, and its emotional palette delivering a fuzzy warm feeling. The dialogue is admittedly a little too 'overly self aware' ala "Dawson's Creek" but Director Michael Mayer brings a warm intimacy to all the proceedings and really knows how to work with his actors.

Farrell is a revelation, turning in his best work since "Tigerland". Instead of the cocky gruff man we all know, he plays Bobby as a vulnerable innocent who has all the wide-eyed wonder and naievity of a young man never once beaten with the cynical stick - albeit in the body of an Adonis (the 'huge appendage' should've been kept in damn it, all we get is some bush and an admittedly decent jeans bulge). Penn and Roberts both effectively convey their characters sassy upfrontness to cover their inner insecurity and hope of happiness.

Even more surprising though is the young actors whose scenes throughout the early parts of the film are just as good if not better than their adult counterparts. Erik Smith as the young Bobby (complete with Farrell-esque mega eyebrows) is a truly superb find and together with "Queer as Folk" star Harris Allan and a delightful Sissy Spacek share the film's best scene involving a Laura Nyro song and pot smoking.

The film has its confronting moments with liberal drug use, a horrific opening accident, a very realistic scene with the two teenagers jerking each other off in bed, and some near nudity and same sex smooching from Farrell. Still, it plays it all quite clean and drops into cliche towards the end as it heads to the house in the mid-West. The score, production design and cinematography all enhance the film strongly.

The film's central premise though of a equally strong relationship between two men and a woman is what will really lead into arguments about the film, and about whether that lifestyle can really work in the long term without at least one of the three feeling "a little extra" at times. A predictable ending is thankfully avoided in favour of a slightly sad albeit believable one, but all up it's a strong and enjoyable movie that's definitely worth catching.

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