Hello I Must Be Going: Returning to the Parental Nest in Shame

Kate Winslet we know, but whatever happened to Melanie Lynskey, her co-star in Peter Jackson’s 1994 Heavenly Creatures? The New Zealand–born actress has actually been working steadily in Hollywood, mostly in TV, and she gets a nice leading role in this indie divorce-com from writer Sarah Koskoff and director Todd Louiso. Amy, 35, has refused alimony and is now broke and despondent back in the waterfront Connecticut home of her affluent boomer parents (Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein, both fine). Her father, an attorney, is entertaining clients at home; they bring along a college-age son (Christopher Abbott), an actor, whom all presume to be gay. He’s not. Amy embarks on an impulsive summertime romance that’s equal parts liberating, comical, and shameful. Doors burst open at inconvenient times, there are several bouts of vomiting, and Amy is treated to a particularly humiliating upside-down POV of her horrified parents. Danner and Lynskey are the best thing about the film with their mother/daughter sparring. Koskoff, a former actress, has an acute feeling for their “I let you down”/”I told you so” dynamic of disappointment and recrimination. The young actor Jeremy, whose age isn’t revealed until late, is more of a prop—and Abbott suitably bland—in Amy’s gradual recovery from the wreckage of her life. You could build a sitcom around Amy and her parents, and I mean that as a compliment.