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Sundance 2012. Todd Louiso’s “Hello I Must Be Going”

Melanie Lynskey’s performance is evidently the film’s saving grace.
The DailyHello I Must Be Going

"Parts of Todd Louiso's Hello I Must Be Going made me happier than I have a right to be," blogs the Boston Globe's Ty Burr, "especially the early scenes in which Melanie Lynskey burrows into the misery of her character, Amy Minsky, a 30-something divorcee who has crawled back home to her parents' suburban home in defeat…. The actress finds a cosmic nobility in Amy's degradation, even as her parents — John Rubenstein and a superb Blythe Danner — look on in growing horror. There's a touch of Harold and Maude whimsy to the character's romance with a disaffected 19-year-old (Christopher Abbott), but their relationship is hotter and funnier and more emotional than you expect…. I liked this movie so much, in fact, that I tried to ignore screenwriter Sarah Koskoff's increasing tendency to have her characters state their innermost feelings in psychologically accurate terms…. Points for the Marx brothers clips, though, and Abbott has a future. So would Lynskey, if Hollywood were paying attention."

Salon's Andrew O'Hehir: "If Louiso's name rings a dim and distant bell in your mind, it may be because of his quasi-legendary supporting performance as a know-it-all record-store clerk in Stephen Frears's High Fidelity, lo, these many years ago. He's now primarily a director, and on the evidence quite a skilled one."

But the AV Club's Nathan Rabin finds "a frustrating disconnect between the low-key naturalism of the film's look, performances, and tone and a plot that intermittent reeks of sitcom wackiness. For all its faults, Hello I Must Be Going marks a huge step up from actor-director Todd Louiso's previous efforts The Marc Pease Experience (which was all strained wackiness) and the maudlin Phillip Seymour Hoffman huffs-gas drama Love Liza and it's a real breakthrough for Lynskey, who confidently carries the film in a challenging role. Thanks largely to her, Hello I Must Be Going's emotional thrust rings true even if many, if not most, of its individual details ring false."

More from Anthony Breznican (EW), Gregory Ellwood (HitFix), Tom Hall (Filmmaker), Harlan Jacobson (Boston Phoenix) and Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter).

IndieWIRE and the Playlist's Drew Taylor interview Louiso and Filmmaker gets a few words with both him and screenwriter Sarah Koskoff. Fred Topel talks with Lynskey for and iW's Nigel M Smith interviews Abbott.

Update, 1/25: Cory Everett talks with Lynskey for the Playlist.

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