Goodbye To All That

**1/2

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

"Angus MacLachlan finds little new to say about the rocky road back to equilibrium after divorce."

When Junebug came along in 2005, it's central relationship felt fresh and fascinating but this latest by Angus MacLachlan finds little new to say about the rocky road back to equilibrium after divorce. Paul Schneider is Otto, a fitness junkie with a sparky daughter Edie (Audrey P Scott) and a happy marriage to Annie (Melanie Lynskey) - at least that's the fairy tale until Annie gets her therapist to tell him she wants a divorce.

What follows is the usual roundelay of dating inappropriate types - who, in the way of male fantasy at the movies, are all considerably younger than Otto and hot and horny on tap. This may be played for laughs but not one of the female characters presented here feels remotely realistic. Even his ex is left to play the ice queen with minimum motivations meaning that Lynskey's delivery falls flat.

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Schneider - who won the acting award at Tribeca Film Festival for his performance - is fine but the film has a fragmented feel, torn between the broad comedy afforded by dates such as Debbie Spengler (Anna Camp) - a devout Christian who alternates between going like a bunny rabbit (with a bunny toy) and utter contrition - and the more sensitive dramatic exploration of Otto's attempts to reconnect with his daughter. Edie comes to signify just how out of touch he has been with his family, with the creation of an unwanted princess bedroom for her epitomising the distance he has allowed to grow without realising it.

The arrival of Otto's old friend Lara (Heather Lawless, giving a terrific performance) injects some much needed momentum into both Otto's life and the lifeless proceedings. Lara is interesting and complex - what a shame the MacLachlan didn't tell the story of this remarkable woman instead of wallowing with Otto, who seems dull and dumb by comparison.

Reviewed on: 26 Apr 2014
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Goodbye To All That packshot
A father tries to get his life back on track after divorce.

Festivals:

Tribeca 2014

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