‘Hello, I Must Be Going’ is excellent independent filmmaking

Melanie Lynskey in 'Hello, I Must Be Going'
Melanie Lynskey in ‘Hello, I Must Be Going’

“Amy” (Melanie Lynskey) is a woman in her mid-thirties who has spent the last three months inside of her parent’s home, not leaving the grounds once. She is in the middle of divorcing her husband, never finished her Master’s degree and basically eats, sleeps and watches old black and white television.

Her father “Stan Minsky” (John Rubinstein) is a lawyer who wants to retire and thanks to reverses in the economy, needs to land one more big client for the firm before he can. Then he and his wife “Ruth” (Blythe Danner) can sail off into the sunset on a great around-the-world trip that she is salivating over. It’s also a big deal for her brother “David” (Dan Futterman) who is living for the day he will no longer work for his dad.

So the potential client comes to dinner and brings his wife “Gwen” (Julie White) and his son “Jeremy” (Christopher Abbott).  Jeremy is only 19 but that doesn’t stop him from becoming extremely enamored with Amy. They hook up and begin a romance that’s as interesting and unlikely as is the notion of a woman in her 30s in 2012 spending hours watching Groucho Marx on television (the title Hello, I Must Be Going is taken from a musical number in the film Animal Crackers, not as many think from the title of a Phil Collins album).

But Amy isn’t as into the relationship aspect of her romance with Jeremy and she is also terrified that if his parents find out they are involved, it will kill her father’s chances of landing his new client and ruin her parent’s lives. Ruth and Stan have mentioned that if he doesn’t close this deal, they may even lose their home.

Christopher Abbott and Melanie Lynskey in 'Hello, I Must Be Going'
Christopher Abbott and Melanie Lynskey in ‘Hello, I Must Be Going’

Amy is living there rent-free and with no source of income because she chose not to take spousal support from her soon to be ex-husband, a wealthy entertainment lawyer in nearby New York City.

They make a cute couple and the ups and downs they experience together make for engaging moments. He is an actor and has a new play coming up but he’s neglecting to learn his lines and it becomes clear that he doesn’t really want to act any more. He isn’t sure what he wants, but his mother has pushed him into acting all of his life.

How their relationship is resolved, how the situation involving her parents gets resolved (there’s an interesting twist there) and how she finally finds closure with her soon to be ex-husband are all strong plot points that director Todd Louiso and screenwriter Sarah Koskoff make the most of. Lynskey is attractive, charming and delivers an outstanding portrayal of a woman coming to terms with the realization that life is going to happen, whether you sit in the bedroom and just watch television, or get out there and actually start living. Danner’s performance is a bit uneven, but she has some awesome moments and Rubinstein is perfect as the father who adores his daughter and will move heaven and Earth to make her happy if he can. But he can’t. She has to make herself happy and that’s the lesson of Hello, I Must Be Going.

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