Melanie Lynskey is poised for a comeback as Amy, a recent divorcee. Much can be made of the trajectories of actress and character in Todd Louiso's incisively wry comedy, which occasionally recalls D.W. Griffith's True Heart Susie, a silent film in which actress and part blurred most in extreme close up. Lynskey plays a girl done wrong by her husband, a man she loved once but clearly learned to sleepwalk with, and now they've split, she's thirtysomething and stuck in the warmly regressive embraces of her parents. Her mother (a stunningly on key Blythe Danner) is caring in her bourgeois best; Lynskey's weight, dowdiness, and sense that she just has to be more than she seems, are ritually addressed. Her father (John Rubinstein, perfectly negligible as the man who lives to keep trucking) is quietly understanding about his daughter's tailspin, though he comforts her saying he's "not good at talking." So, forced into more J. Crew uniforms, she attends the upscale dinner parties her family relies upon for continued business in their law firm. There she meets Jeremy (Christopher Abbott), a wildly successful stage actor so unable to speak for himself he's allowed his mother (Julie White, perfect as always) to believe he's gay. When he pounces on Amy (Lynskey) it's a kinship she identifies as the love she never got before. But Jeremy's 19, and their romance, which is full of comical embarrassment and beautifully soft-sold revelations, underlines her lack of personal development. Stuck in the comfortable but regressive climes of her parents' upstate home, she's surrounded by the awkwardly tender family that kindly keeps all feelings in and behind a glass bell jar. The feelings are palpably half-stated and the script (by Sarah Koskoff) and direction delicately construct the imperfect world we all know from Lands End catalogues—and, for many, from childhood. Simpler statements about the line dividing the look and feel of love are hard to find.
Distributor: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Blythe Danner, John Rubinstein, Julie White, Christopher Abbott, Dan Futterman
Director: Todd Louiso
Screenwriter: Sarah Koskoff
Producers: Mary Jane Skalski, Hans C. Ritter
Rating: R for language and sexual content.
Running time: 95 min.
Release date: September 7 NY/LA