Goodbye To All That
Otto Wall’s marriage is over; his wife—or, rather, her therapist—just hasn’t told him yet. A prototypical Nice Guy, Otto (Parks and Recreation‘s Paul Schneider) is blindsided when he finds out that Annie (Melanie Lynskey) is so unhappy in their union that she’s already had a lawyer draw up divorce papers and arrange custody for their 9-year-old daughter.
Struggling for ballast in a life that’s suddenly been flipped sideways, he goes online and finds that suburban North Carolina is uncannily full of hot, insatiable blondes (Heather Graham, Anna Camp, and Ashley Hinshaw among them) who want to come to his sad-single-guy house and do things with him that Annie hadn’t wanted to do for years, or ever.
But sex, of course, is not the same as love, and divorce is not a rough day at the office. Schneider, an appealing furrowed-browed actor who is often relegated to supporting roles, spends most of Goodbye looking mildly stunned, like a bird that just flew into a windowpane. The females around him, by contrast—from his watchful daughter (Audrey P. Scott) to his batty boss (Amy Sedaris) and quietly seething soon-to-be ex—seem to live much more fully in their own skin. Writer-director Angus MacLachlan also penned the acclaimed 2005 indie Junebug, and he aims for the same kind of gentle absurdity here. The movie’s tone never quite evens out, but there are still sweet minor-key moments, and some good lines in all that. B+