Hello I Must Be Going Review
By Lexi Feinberg
Everyone has different, generally unhealthy ways of reacting to divorce. Some binge drink or eat their way into oblivion. Others throw themselves into work, allotting exactly no time to think about what just transpired. In "Hello I Must Be Going," a newly divorced 30-something moves back in with her parents, sulks her way around the house, and wears a baggy red T-shirt with a lightning bolt on it. In other words, she reverts back to being a teenager, and then starts sleeping with one.
Amy (Melanie Lynskey, easily the best thing about the movie) is feeling really down on herself and her life, and is pleasantly surprised when a sensitive, 19-year-old actor (Christopher Abbott) flirts with her at a family dinner party. Her lawyer parents hope to do business with his parents, which makes the situation more forbidden, which of course just makes it more hot for them.
It's not that hot for those watching though. In fact, it's just kind of sad. Not because of the age gap, but because they both seem so desperate for just anything else. He is an actor who hates acting and has led his folks to believe he is gay, because why correct them. And she has such low self worth that she will gladly accept attention from anyone. It's doomed from the onset and not all that fascinating to watch, even when they attempt to silly it up with a late-night skinny dip that results in her singing the Canadian national anthem.
Lynskey does some of her best work here, and her scenes away from the young love interest are more powerful. There's a great moment when she cries out, "Where the fuck is bottom?" after yet another thing goes wrong in her life. She seems mostly miserable throughout the film, but she balances that with her vivid expressions and occasional dry wit. A lot of actors would make this character seem too self-absorbed and mopey; Lynskey makes her seem like a friend in need.
But still, it's not enough. A successful film needs more than a strong leading performance. Director Todd Louiso captures that but little else, and the script from Sarah Koskoff is lacking. Like Amy's divorce, delivered without closure, we're left wanting more.