Hello I Must Be Going

Year: 2012
Production Co: Hello I Must Be Going
Director: Todd Louiso
Writer: Sarah Koskoff
Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Blythe Danner, Josh Rubenstein, Daniel Eric Gold

There's nothing outstanding in this very Sundance-flavoured 'lost soul' dramedy and it's certainly nothing you haven't seen before. It's also not a million miles from the mumblecore movies of Joe Swanberg that Kiwi star Melanie Lynskey has appeared in before, but if there's one reason to watch it, it's the sublime Lynskey herself.

Beautiful without being rigidly sexualised, her huge doe eyes and permanently rounded expression of slight shock wins you over at a glance, and despite it being another story about a kidult languishing in the ennui of first world problems, you feel for her.

Lynskey plays Amy, who's let go of her dreams of being a photographer and moved back into the home of her upwardly mobile parents (Blythe Danner and John Rubenstein) after her husband has unexpectedly left her.

Amy does nothing but sleep all day and wallow in self hatred and self pity, and with her wise and spiritely mother encouraging her to take part in all manner of activities to reconnect her with life, Amy is dragged from yoga to classy parties attended by arts patrons without an inkling of interest and with her shattered nerves making her seem like a painfully shy six year old.

But when her and the gay actor son of some friends of their parents catch each others' eye, Amy feels a new spark. Noah (Daniel Eric Gold) is also drowning under a suffocating blanket of his high-powered parents' expectations as they dine out on the trajectory of his theatre acting career and the cultural cachet of him being gay, but he and Amy are the only ones prepared to understand and listen to each other. She feels unlovable and worthless after her husband dumped her and he not only hates acting, he's completely straight.

Their emotional intimacy leads to a love affair that gives them both a new reason for living, but even though Noah – with the passion and romance of youth – wants them to run away together, Amy has at least enough life experience to know they can never be more than a fun fling despite how much they represent guiding lights to each other.

Having an affair with a man far too young for her makes for some of the more overt comic moments, like the moment in the trailer when she turns up at a teenage party looking for him and some kid yells back into the house that someone's mother is there to pick them up (despite being the scene that got me interested in the movie, it's not strictly a comedy).

The performances all suit the material and even though it needs more bite to really stand out as either a comedy or a drama, Lynskey effortlessly overcomes what would ordinarily be another character that's hard to feel sorry for while she treats everyone around her terribly for trying to care about her.

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