Sponsored by the Westport Cinema Initiative, there will be a special showing at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, of this low-budget, independent film written by Westport native Sarah Koskoff, a 1985 Staples High School graduate, and directed by her husband, Todd Louiso.
Taking its title from a routine in the Marx Brothers comedy "Animal Crackers," the story revolves around recently divorced and despairing 30-something Amy Minksy, who has moved back in with her indulgent, well-to-do Westport parents (Blythe Danner, John Rubenstein), who are coping with problems of their own. If her father's film can sign a lucrative new client, he can retire, which will enable her frustrated, art-collecting mother to participate in an extensive travel program called Gallivanting the Globe.
At a pivotal suburban dinner party, Amy unexpectedly connects with angst-riddled, 19-year-old Jeremy (Christopher Abbott), whose slavish attention not only boosts her self-esteem but also allows her to regain emotional equilibrium with an added insight into her dependence and complicity in her own privileged life.
A familiar face from "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World," "Ever After" and the TV sitcom "Two and a Half Men," Melanie Lynskey exudes sad vulnerability, while the intensity of Abbott's sweet infatuation provides soothing reassurance as the story unfolds.
While it's fun to spot familiar scenes shot around Fairfield County, including Sherwood Island State Park, Compo Beach, Tavern on Main, Saugatuck Yacht Club, Norwalk Inn and Vineyard Vines clothing store, it's obvious that Koskoff would not have been able to film back in 2011 -- in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene -- with-out out the support of her family and friends, many of whom
are listed in the concluding credits.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Hello I Must Be Going" is a sensitive 6 -- traveling from its auspicious debut at Sundance to a limited release and now a fundraising screening at Westport Town Hall.