"Mom, it's true, you do have the sweetest breasts," the 10-year-old Phillip (Eric Lloyd) says to his boozy, woozy parental unit (Deborah Kara Unger) about halfway through Bette Gordon's Luminous Motion. It's a line that should have left my jaw somewhere around the floor, but by that time I was so narcotized by this movie's lack of inertia that I just sat there, mentally paring my nails. With nods to Sigmund Freud and Sir Isaac Newton, Luminous Motion takes us on a journey through Phillip's disturbed psyche--a case of arrested development that, paradoxically, results in a need to be constantly on the move. Packed into a beat-up Chevy Impala, Phillip and his mother criss-cross the country, wearing out maps and lifting various valuables off the men Phillip's mom entertains along the way. For a boy stuck in the Oedipal stage, it's paradise on earth...until Mom stops the car.
We've been down this road before, from Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore to Anywhere But Here. But Luminous Motion tries to show us something new: a kid who'd literally kill to stay with his sexy mother forever. It's a tantalizing idea, but the script doesn't explore Phillip's psyche so much as connect its dots. And the clean-scrubbed Lloyd, who should be freaking the crap out of us, seems to think he's guest-starring on "Party of Five." Where's Eddie Haskell when you need him?