"Hello I Must Be Going": Melanie Lynskey's Low-Key Greatness

We knew from Heavenly Creatures that Kate Winslet had a bright career ahead, but in that film, Melanie Lynskey was the one to watch. Is it possible that no director since Peter Jackson has quite known what to do with her? Todd Louiso's Hello I Must Be Going affirms Lynskey as a lead mostly by letting us marvel at the depth she brings to his wife's — Sarah Koskoff — programmatic script about a sad-sack antihero, female for a change. Amy, a 35-year-old photography hobbyist, enacts her post-divorce regression by moving back in with her aloof Westport parents (Blythe Danner, John Rubinstein) and actually hooking up with a teenager. That's family friend Jeremy (Girls' Christopher Abbott), an aspiring actor who seems reasonably perceptive about human behavior but hasn't bothered to correct his own mother (Julie White) for presuming he's gay. Fecklessness being of the essence here, some protective drollery is applied. Summing up its protagonist's stance on returning to the nest, the movie's title obviously also alludes to the Marx Brothers, whose antics Amy watches for distraction, but the comic inheritance seems so diluted that it might as well be a Phil Collins reference. With a digital sheen exacerbating the aura of slightness, Hello vamps along in its low indie-rom-com key toward a climactic mother-daughter moment not nearly as harrowing as the one in Lynskey's debut, but moving nonetheless.

 
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