Poor little rich girl, Amy Minsky (Melanie Lynskey) is in her early 30s, recently divorced, depressed and living at her parents beautiful, opulent home in Westport, CT. My how times change. When Jill Clayburgh did it, she was An Unmarried Woman and it was kind of a big deal because she had to face economic dislocation, romantic inexperience and societal reproval.
Here, Amy is surrounded by the usual troupe of insensitive caricatures who serve to make us feel she is really the good one, and in case we forget, she is juxtaposed against her ambitious parents, high school friends who have not moved on, and a would-be suitor utilized to show that though Amy presents as a wallowing mope, at least she’s not a loser like him. And she’s a photographer, no less, but she gave it up for love. Odds on a return to that vocation by the end of the film are, obviously, high.
The character is too fortunate and too dull to gin up any sympathy or interest. She flings with the 19 year old son of friends of her parents (Christopher Abbott), whose charming little quirk is that he is an actor who hates acting (Abbott’s character ends up going to Oberlin, which, coincidentally, is where his character in HBO’s Girls matriculated). They bemoan their uncool parents, Westport, and their sad stations (his second quirk is pretending to be gay for his mother because she is “into being accepting”). Minsky’s Mrs. Robinson experience does not make her more compelling.
Expectedly, the film sports precious acoustic music and a pile of Lilith Fair ditties to cement its indie bona fides (Liz Phair should sue Laura Veirs, but I guess there ain’t a lot of money there), and in most other respects is as cookie-cutter as any studio assembly line production.
It does have one good line, when her ogre of a mother (at least, as played by Blythe Danner, she is supposed to be an ogre) upbraids her for her laze and self-pity with, “What did you think life was going to be, one ribbon cutting after another?”
But that’s like after an hour.