Monday, September 17, 2012

hello you must be going to see this movie

I'd spend more time like this if our couch were long enough to lay down on.
I broke my No Movies About People In My Demographic rule this weekend to watch Hello I Must Be Going, because the trailer assured me that Melanie Lynskey’s character, Amy, would be sufficiently bummed out as to not stress me out.

(Can I just say how refreshing it is that a character allegedly born in 1977 is named Amy? Not Lily or Ruby or Madison, or another name given to humans born circa 2007 and movie characters born in 2012. AK and I have a thing about how trans guys tend to rename themselves, like, Brayden, even when they’re thirty years old. If your female name was Jennifer, your male name should probably be Dave or Brian, not Owen. That is, if you’re going for realism. If you just want a name you like and you don’t mind turning around every time the parents at your hipster coffee shop call their two-year-olds, carry on, Brayden/Owen.)

Where was I? Hello I Must Be Going and realism, right. The script is sort of a B+: divorcee moves in with her parents (Blythe Danner and John Rubinstein) and encounters all the humiliations you would imagine, all while wearing an old, ill-fitting T-shirt. Thirty-five-year-old girl then meets nineteen-year-old boy who turns out to be cooler and more genuine than her ex, though not without his flaws. But Melanie Lynskey puts a sweet, savvy spin on even the most B+ lines. She has a nice non-actressy doughy-ness about her, like she’s waiting for the world to shape her.

It’s crazy how much less good this movie would have been if it were about an angular divorcee named Ruby.

There’s a scene where Amy tells someone she’s really, really busy, which gently cuts to Blythe Danner reading a story to Amy’s niece, and Amy slouching in an armchair, staring at nothing, contemplating everything. I’ve spent a good chunk of my thirties this way so far. I felt grateful.

Another reason this movie is good: The parents have their own lives, which don’t just revolve around making Amy’s difficult (though they do some of that too). At one point Amy is sure her parents are giving her the near-silent treatment because she’s really, really fucked up this time, but it turns out they just have their own shit going on. For kids—even adult kids—this never stops being a revelation.

We also spent a little piece of the weekend painting papier-mâché calacas for AK’s sister’s wedding, which is in October and has a Dia de los Muertos/eternal love theme. I guess you could argue that a second wedding might acknowledge the sometimes non-eternal nature of love, but I really like the idea of folding all stages of life into the mix. Love means the dark and the light, and all you can do is throw a party and cover the graveyard with marigolds.

No comments: