Hello I Must Be Going wears its Sundance Institute roots like a tattoo inked on its plot: Passive Amy (Melanie Lynskey) is thrown into such a depression by her divorce from her generic suit of a husband (Dan Futterman) that she curls up, childlike in a baggy T-shirt, at the fancy home of her status-conscious parents (Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein). Then she has a thrilling romance with a 19-year-old hottie (Girls’ Christopher Abbott). Then she becomes a Woman.
I readily proclaim myself among the ranks of Lynskey lovers, but even the uninitiated will be impressed by how, despite being costumed in clichés of despair (and sexy-dress clichés of blooming womanhood, too), she makes Amy a vibrant and specific human being. What’s equally impressive, though, is the effect the star’s gentle charisma has on the whole production: Working from a script by his wife, Sarah Koskoff, High Fidelity actor-turned-director Todd Louiso shapes the movie to Lynskey’s rhythms. As a result, every scene — including mopey family meals, secret assignations, and confessions under the stars — breathes with a freshness that carries this tiny romance safely beyond the realm of indie cuteness, into the world of a character worth caring about. B+