A charming supporting cast fails to invigorate "Goodbye to All That," a relentlessly flat seriocomic take on contemporary relationships marking the directorial debut of "Junebug" scribe Angus MacLachlan.
Although completely blindsided by his wife's (Melanie Lynskey) divorce proceedings, the soft-spoken but clueless Otto Wall (Paul Schneider) doesn't waste much time diving back into the dating pool, bedding a parade of true characters while attempting to bond with his young daughter, Edie (Audrey Scott).
There's nothing particularly wrong with that setup, provided that it's actually setting the stage for some sort, any sort, of upward momentum.
But where MacLachlan's "Junebug" was a breath of fresh Southern air (launching Amy Adams' brilliant career), his script this time suffers from a stagnating, whiny lethargy that hangs over the entire production, also set in North Carolina.
It doesn't help that Otto spends an awful lot of his time sitting in front of a screen trolling Facebook — perhaps plausible but not the most cinematic of choices — while the soundtrack favors sleepy Haydn symphonies.
More problematic is that despite the humanizing attempts of Lynskey, Heather Graham and Anna Camp, most of the women in (and out of) Otto's life are drawn as either controlling or kooky caricatures in a sketchy film that cries out for some deeper dimension.
'Goodbye to All That'
No MPAA rating
Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood