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Review: A Home At The End Of The World

I never thought I'd be praising a Colin Farrell movie but the day has come and I didn't just like this film, I loved it. It is a simple (and surprisingly short at around 85 mins) romantic movie but it breaks all the conventions of such a film. There is polygamy but with no moral message against it and homosexuality with no reference to people getting offended or the partakers being afraid or regretful of their actions - it is treated as a completely natural kind of love and this is very refreshing.

The story is of two boys who become extremely close friends as kids and the path their lives take as they grow up. Bobby (Colin Farrell), during his 1970s childhood loses his brother (in an accident that made me gasp rather loudly, not unlike the actor Ryan Donowho's later character, Johnny from The OC) and both parents, and Jonathan's (Dallas Roberts) loving family take him in as their own, with Bobby creating a close bond particularly with Jonathan's mother, Alice (Sissy Spacek). The film then skips to 1982 when Bobby goes to join Jonathan in New York, where he lives with a girl called Clare (Robin Wright Penn). Although Jonathan is gay and has several one night stands (also both he and Bobby seem to have strong feelings for each other and attempt some sexual experimentation early in the film), he and Clare have a very close relationship, so when Clare gets together with Bobby, Jonathan finds it too upsetting and returns home.

However, a few months later Jonathan's father dies and Bobby and Clare go to visit him and Alice in their Arizona home. It is then that Clare announces she is pregnant and proposes that the three of them become what she terms a "funny family". So, the rest of the film shows how these three people manage to create a family that suits their situation. They don't even care that what they're doing is abnormal and neither do the people around them. It shows that any number of people who genuinely love each other can have a happy relationship which functions just as well as a conventional monogamous heterosexual relationship. Of course you'll have to watch the film to see if it lasts.

Another thing I have to praise is the acting in this delightful film. Colin Farrell is a surprisingly convincing American and creates Bobby as a sweet, slightly naive character who seems to accept everyone and everything, with a very positive attitude to life despite the way it treated him in his early years. I was also very pleased to see Robin Wright Penn turn up in the film as she stars in one of my all time favourites, White Oleander, and she made Clare a very likeable character, which was important if she was to come between the 2 main male characters and not cause the viewers to dislike her. The film is actually based on a book by Michael Cunningham, so next time I am free of English course books, I will definitely be tracking down a copy of this amazingly heartwarming story.