LYMELIFE | British Board of Film Classification
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LYMELIFE artwork


Type of media Video

Approved Running time 90m 42s

Ratings Info Contains strong language, violence, sex and soft drug use

Genre(s) Drama

Director(s) Derick Martini

Cast includes Rory Culkin, Alec Baldwin, Emma Roberts, Cynthia Nixon, Timothy Hutton, Jill Hennessey

Cut This work was passed uncut.

  • Suitable only for 15 years and over icon15

Ratings info

Ratings info publication date 18/06/2010

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

LYMELIFE is a US coming-of-age drama. Scott is a gentle, slightly geeky teenage boy who pines over Adrianna, the daughter of his neighbours. Meanwhile, he is forced to watch as his parents' marriage falls apart. The films was classified '15' for strong language, violence, sex and soft drug use.

Around 40 uses of strong language, some used in a crude sexual sense, require a minimum '15' classification, as the BBFC's Guidelines at '12A'/'12' state that 'The use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’) must be infrequent'.

Scott is attacked by a school bully, leaving him with a badly bruised face. After this, Scott's older brother takes revenge by dragging the bully out of his house and punching him repeatedly. Later, Scott himself launches a brutal and unprovoked attack on the same bully. Although the beatings are largely implied, they are fairly intense, with the aftermath of injuries clearly shown. Despite some beatings being clearly disapproved of (Scott's mum tries to make him apologise to the bully), this offers a far stronger impression than the 'moderate violence' that is permissible at '12'. However, the fact that such scenes do not 'dwell on the infliction of pain or injury', or show the violence to be sadistic, means that the strong violence is allowable under the Guidelines at '15'. This category is also sufficient to cover the sight of a shot man clutching his bleeding stomach.

An implied gentle sex scene between two younger characters is shown. Both of them are fully clothed, with only the mildest of sexual movements. This may have been permissible at '12' but another sex scene between the two parents who are having an illicit affair is much more vigorous, with plenty of thrusting, grunting and sexual noises. Despite the lack of nudity, this scene goes beyond the Guidelines for sex at '12A'/'12', which state that 'Sexual activity may be briefly and discreetly portrayed'.

Soft drug use is shown throughout the film. Adrianna's sick father secretly smokes cannabis joints in the basement all day, but is shown to be a sad and rather pathetic character. In one scene, Adrianna rolls a large cannabis joint and persuades Scott to try it. As the two teenagers are the most obvious role models with whom young people might readily identify, this element of glamorisation, plus the frequency of Charlie's drug taking, go beyond the '12A'/'12' Guidelines which state that 'Any misuse of drugs must be infrequent and should not be glamorised or give instructional detail'. However, it is permissible at '15' because the film, as a whole, does 'not promote or encourage drug misuse'.

One character uses the discriminatory term 'nigger' at one point, but it is not directed, and he is clearly depicted as an ignorant, posturing bully, meaning that the work as a whole does not endorse racism. Another older character - again, not portrayed as a role model or as particularly likeable - also uses occasional discriminatory terms such as 'spics' and 'ragheads', but these are similarly undirected, and are not used to promote racist attitudes to the audience. The film also includes some moderate language such as 'pussy', 'dickweed', 'whore', 'slut' and 'bitch' and includes some infrequent moderate sex references.


Sound & Media
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
90m 42s
BBFC reference

Components List

This work is made up of a number of separate components. Note that since February 2001 the BBFC has measured each component separately, but older works may not have the exact details, only a list of titles


Rating information

The version of this work detailed above is rated by the BBFC under the Video Recordings Act 1984 for use on any Packaged Media format (including DVD, Blu-ray and VHS). This classification may also be used when the same work is made available on Digital Video Platforms (including Video On Demand) provided that the platform is licenced to use BBFC ratings.

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