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Sundance 2012: Melanie Lynskey looking for love in 'Hello'

January 19, 2012 | 11:48 pm

Hello I Must Be Going

Amy Minsky is having a bad day, a bad year, a bad life. What every thirtysomething divorcee living with her parents needs, it turns out, is a 19-year-old stud transfixed by his cougar lover. That's the premise of "Hello I Must Be Going," the first U.S. dramatic competition film shown at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Amy, played by "Two and a Half Men" and "Win Win" alumna Melanie Lynskey, is getting all kinds of worthless advice from her Connecticut friends and family: anti-depressants, yoga, drinking with the girls. She's so stuck in a funk that she wears the same T-shirt every day, and hasn't left the house -- by her parents' count, at least -- in three months.

But when her father hosts a dinner party with a potential client's lawyer, the attorney shows up with a handsome son named Jeremy ("Martha Marcy May Marlene's" Christopher Abbott), and before dessert is served, Amy and Jeremy are playing a spirited game of tonsil hockey.

"Hello I Must Be Going" is a romantic comedy in the Sundance style, a little bit dark in places (Amy's parents, played by Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein, are hopelessly self-involved and have no helpful advice) but sprinkled with plenty of caustic wit. The movie played well, but there was a smattering of early departures from some buyers at the Thursday evening screening.

"I was depressed, just between us," actress Sarah Koskoff said to an audience of 1,000 as to why she wrote the film, her first produced screenplay (directed by Todd Louiso). "I was at a point where I thought things were going a certain way and realized they hadn't gone there. And I know a lot of women who felt they were supposed to be a lot more far along" in life than they were, Koskoff said, adding that she based some of the film on growing up in Westport, Conn.

Said Lynskey, who covered up her thick New Zealand accent very well in the film: "I just loved how complex it was."


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Photo: Christopher Abbott and Melanie Lynskey in "Hello I Must be Going." Credit: Sundance Film Festival