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Movie review: 'Hello I Must Be Going' -- 3.5 stars

"Hello I Must Be Going"

"Hello I Must Be Going" (Credit: handout handout)

Hello I Must Be Going
3.5 stars
Directed by Todd Louiso
Starring Melanie Lynskey, Christopher Abbott, Blythe Danner
Rated R

The smart new drama "Hello I Must Be Going" is set in the tony community of Westport, Conn., a scrubbed-clean slice of suburbia that's just an hour train ride from New York City but a world away.

And at first glance, the film from director Todd Louiso and screenwriter Sarah Koskoff seems like another of those omnipresent suburban dramas centered on pain and dysfunction, repeating the tired mantra that the big, crowded cities don't have a monopoly on unhappiness.

But the filmmakers refuse to wallow in the misery inherent in the story of depressed, jobless 35-year-old divorcee Amy (Melanie Lynskey), who moves back in with mom (Blythe Danner) and dad (John Rubinstein) and mopes around until she falls for the 19-year-old son (Christopher Abbott) of one of dad's crucial business contacts, potentially compromising her parents' future.

"Hello I Must Be Going" is bolstered by a terrific performance from Lynskey, who brings dignity and humor to what could have been a downbeat part, and a naturalistic sensibility that forgoes the expected helping of sickly whimsy.

When the film begins, Amy is stuck in the mud of life, unable to get off the couch. The movie tracks her re-emergence into the world, her escape from that stasis -- and you can't help but root for her happiness. Put another way, it's that rare movie about real people who are flawed, likable and beset by relatable problems. There's barely a false note from start to finish.

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