Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Hello, I Must Be Going

An affectless approach muffles any interest one might have in this failed rom-com.

Sept 6, 2012

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1362488-Hello_Going_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

In gleaming, white-bread Westport, Connecticut, recent divorcée Amy (Melanie Lynskey) has moved back in with Mom and Dad (Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein), while trying to figure out her life. Hers is a listless existence in front of the TV, exasperating to her parents, until one night, at a dinner party, she encounters aspiring actor Jeremy (Christopher Abbott) and sparks fly, which would be fine except he’s only 19 years old.

That’s about it, plot-wise, for Todd Louiso’s quirky, very little indie rom-com, Hello, I Must Be Going. Scripted by Sarah Koskoff, there’s nothing wrong with its basic May-December premise, which has fueled many a farce for aeons, but the studied, affectless approach consistently kills any interest. Deadpan humor can be a joy in film with the right kind of comic payoff, but here, scene after scene only trails off into a nothingness which we must assume is the punch line. One can sense that Louiso and Koskoff are going for a winsome, post-Graduate/Annie Hall kind of approach, with their too-cold observation of upmarket suburbia and assortment of quirky characters, like Julie White as Jeremy’s overbearingly clueless mother, who wrongly assumes he’s gay, but the whole thing lacks essential comic drive.

White, an often spectacular comic actress on the stage, injects the only real fun into the proceedings, which become increasingly morose, not only for Amy, facing an ever-bleaker future, but for the audience as well. Lynskey’s performance is too much in cahoots with the filmmaker’s agenda, and although wanly likeable, she displays not a whit of personal charisma or gumption which would draw you into her plight. (It’s like seeing Priscilla Lane playing a role Ginger Rogers might have redeemed with her verve and spunk.) Abbott manages to evince a convincingly adolescent charm, but Danner is again wasted in a role that requires her to do little more than cluck in her trademark sandpapery voice.

The title derives from Groucho Marx’s famous ditty from Animal Crackers, and the film is laced with sequences from the Marx Brothers movies Amy enjoys watching. But those films don’t seem to have any truly deep motivational or personal resonance with her, and only make you wish you were watching them instead of this.



Film Review: Hello, I Must Be Going

An affectless approach muffles any interest one might have in this failed rom-com.

Sept 6, 2012

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1362488-Hello_Going_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

In gleaming, white-bread Westport, Connecticut, recent divorcée Amy (Melanie Lynskey) has moved back in with Mom and Dad (Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein), while trying to figure out her life. Hers is a listless existence in front of the TV, exasperating to her parents, until one night, at a dinner party, she encounters aspiring actor Jeremy (Christopher Abbott) and sparks fly, which would be fine except he’s only 19 years old.

That’s about it, plot-wise, for Todd Louiso’s quirky, very little indie rom-com, Hello, I Must Be Going. Scripted by Sarah Koskoff, there’s nothing wrong with its basic May-December premise, which has fueled many a farce for aeons, but the studied, affectless approach consistently kills any interest. Deadpan humor can be a joy in film with the right kind of comic payoff, but here, scene after scene only trails off into a nothingness which we must assume is the punch line. One can sense that Louiso and Koskoff are going for a winsome, post-Graduate/Annie Hall kind of approach, with their too-cold observation of upmarket suburbia and assortment of quirky characters, like Julie White as Jeremy’s overbearingly clueless mother, who wrongly assumes he’s gay, but the whole thing lacks essential comic drive.

White, an often spectacular comic actress on the stage, injects the only real fun into the proceedings, which become increasingly morose, not only for Amy, facing an ever-bleaker future, but for the audience as well. Lynskey’s performance is too much in cahoots with the filmmaker’s agenda, and although wanly likeable, she displays not a whit of personal charisma or gumption which would draw you into her plight. (It’s like seeing Priscilla Lane playing a role Ginger Rogers might have redeemed with her verve and spunk.) Abbott manages to evince a convincingly adolescent charm, but Danner is again wasted in a role that requires her to do little more than cluck in her trademark sandpapery voice.

The title derives from Groucho Marx’s famous ditty from Animal Crackers, and the film is laced with sequences from the Marx Brothers movies Amy enjoys watching. But those films don’t seem to have any truly deep motivational or personal resonance with her, and only make you wish you were watching them instead of this.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

PK
Film Review: PK

An alien trying to return home tangles with religious authorities in a low-key Bollywood message drama. More »

A Small Section
Film Review: A Small Section of the World

Worthy but uninvolving documentary about the coffee-producing women of Costa Rica. More »

Sagrada
Film Review: Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation

The fabulous 130-year work-in-progress that is Barcelona's Sagrada Familia cathedral, as well as its crazy-brilliant originator, Antonio Gaudi, is the focus of this vividly informative documentary. More »

Inside the Mind of Leonardo
Film Review: Inside the Mind of Leonardo in 3D

Documentary-feature hybrid that offers unexpected insight into the world of Leonardo da Vinci, but nonetheless suffers from a heavy hand and pretentious sensibility. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Into the Woods
Film Review: Into the Woods

Over-scaled, too dark and only intermittently charming Sondheim musical adaptation does a disservice to a great cast and is often so noisy you can't even appreciate the music. More »

The H obbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Film Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

After rewriting the rules for modern fantasy cinema, for the better and worse, Peter Jackson’s six-film Tolkien saga slams, bangs and shudders to a long-overdue conclusion. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here