A Home at the End of the World is the first major motion picture directed by Michael Mayer and the second major motion picture written by Michael Cunningham. The film sports a motley, yet interesting, crew of major characters, among them Colin Farrell and Robin Wright Penn, in this tale of friendship spanning from adolescent to thirty-something years.
The movie begins by providing a glimpse into the boyhood world of Cleveland native Bobby Morrow and then documenting his friendship with high school classmate Jonathan Glover. Young Bobby soon becomes an integral part of the Glover family, upon being taken under the wing of Mrs. Glover (Sissy Spacek), and finds himself having difficulty forging a life for himself as a young man. Being ultimately forced to make his own way, 24-year-old Bobby (Farrell) moves to New York to crash with Jonathan (Dallas Roberts) and his roommate (Penn). The crux of the film is a documentation of the three young adults' quasi-Bohemian life together and their formation of a veritable, albeit highly unconventional, family.
Indeed, this film provides a poignant social commentary on American life from the late 1960s to the early 1980s through the thoughts and actions of its characters. Like other coming-of-age-in-the-Nixon-Administration movies, this one will leave you feeling uncomfortable, as you witness the characters participate in that period's trend of gingerly breaking age-old social maxims. Additionally, the depiction of "the scene" in New York City in the 1980s was skillfully done. The film is also praiseworthy because the characters' thoughts, statements, and actions are entirely unpredictable from one moment to the next. Although all the characters could have been less wooden at times, the cast was impressive, especially Penn.