Lonely Boy

Lonely Boy

Directed by: Dale Fabrigar
124 minutes

New England Premiere

Schizophrenic Franky (writer/producer Alev Aydin) lives by himself... well, sort of; he hosts his three silent, imaginary friends on an air mattress in his apartment. This eclectic group—Jay, Jonny, and Mia—eat dinner with him, sleep with him, and ride in his red BMW convertible. Although they are meek and mute to us, they somehow intrude on his every attempt to behave normally. After Franky is fired from Copy King for circulating a manifesto, his sister Betsy (Melora Walters, MAGNOLIA) pleads with him to take his meds and go see his psychiatrist. Meanhile, plucky salesclerk Alex (Natalie Distler, Rescue Me) befriends Franky and allows him three chances to prove himself as a suitor.

The story follows Franky through his lunacy, courtship of Alex, tortured relationship with Betsy, and budding friendship with an ornery World War II vet. Eventually, we learn more about how Betsy and Franky became orphans and the origins of his hallucinations when he was a young teenager. Twentysomething mental illness (or delusions, schizophrenia, or paranoia—the film stays away from labels) rubs up against day-to-day California life with humor in LONELY BOY, and the dialogue of interventions, psychiatric appointments, awkward flirtation, and family discord make for a sweetly compelling film.

LONELY BOY also features Lynn Whitfield and Richard Riehle (THE BEACH PARTY AT THE THRESHOLD OF HELL, IFFBoston 2007).

—Kate Larrabee