Three Tales of Alienation Never Connect in Hello, Lonesome


Bill (Harry Chase) files his voiceover work remotely, leaving him free to wander around in bikini underwear through a home-compound equipped with trampoline, Jacuzzi, and gun collection. Dating-site trolling connects Gordon (Nate Smith) to Debby (Sabrina Lloyd), and their one-night stand lingers into cohabitation. A vivacious widow, Eleanor (Lynn Davis), starts bumming rides from her uptight neighbor, Gary (James Urbaniak), leading to fondue dinners and canoodling. Writer-director Adam Reid knew none of these stories could quite carry a movie by itself, but they aren’t much closer to doing so all together. The separate storylines at no point connect, nor do they suggest a dialogue, save the loose thematic binding of a sad-sack sense of work-from-home isolation (but the Gordon-Debby love connection doesn’t even stick to that). What merit Hello, Lonesome has comes in the relaxed rapport of the actors, which allows them to assert, despite frequently clueless camerawork, some human personality over their assigned character capsules. Bill monologues to his estranged daughter’s answering machine; Eleanor regrets selling the car that was a monument to her late husband; Gordon is . . . an online sports bettor. The same laxity given to the performers extends, unfortunately, to the film’s structuring, a lazy Susan rotation between storylines and monotonous settings building into synchronized, bathetic emotional crescendos that can’t top the relief at the end credits.