Melanie Lynskey, perhaps best known for her roles in Heavenly Creatures, Ever After, and Two and a Half Men, finally takes center stage in this character-driven indie film. Hello I Must Be Going tells the story of Amy, a recently divorced thirty-something, who has found herself disconnected from the artistic young woman she once was, as well as from the buttoned-up lawyer’s wife she became before her divorce. Amy moves into her parents’ house without direction or drive, but when she meets a much younger family friend, her passion reignites in an unexpected, or perhaps quite expected, way. Hello I Must Be Going is a simplistic film that surprises with its sharp wit and charm as it tells the all-too-familiar story of starting over when life takes an unexpected turn.
Melanie Lynskey offers this film a subtle performance as the dejected and lost Amy. Her parents, played by the lively Blythe Danner and the more reserved John Rubinstein, work well as Amy’s parents. They do their best to get her out of bed and dressed appropriately for their upscale New England town. During an important work luncheon for her father, Amy meets a family friend, young aspiring actor Jeremy (Christopher Abott). Jeremy’s confusion over his chosen career path and future instantly draws him to Amy. Abott brings the same type of quiet passion to the film that Lynskey does, and they both feed off of each other’s calm and spunky energy.
It’s always nice to sit back, relax, and watch a Sundance-fueled, character-driven film, and that’s exactly what this movie is. Hello I Must Be Going went through Sundance labs before becoming what it is today. In places, it does feel like the kind of film that could have been pushed a bit harder to truly reach its potential, but the film bounces back with some memorable moments and unexpected cameos. Dan Futterman (The Birdcage, Judging Amy) and the quietly hilarious Jimmi Simpson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Breakout Kings) punch up their scenes with the wounded Amy. In fact, Amy is able to reclaim some of her dignity and find some self-discovery through her brief interactions with these men.
Hello I Must Be Going, directed by Todd Louiso and written by Sarah Koskoff, could get lost amongst other indie films, but its wit and supporting performances help it stand out. The film skirts around clichés and ends up carving out its own path. It doesn’t try to be more than it is. Hello I Must Be Going is worth a viewing for anyone looking for a well done, character-driven flick and for anyone who has been waiting to see Melanie Lynskey as a leading lady.
Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired this film for a theatrical release this year.