Westport: Toff Or Not?

Hello I Must Be Going” — the film written by Staples alum Sarah Koskoff and filmed last summer in Westport, which premiered to a couple of sellout crowds last week at Sundance — has garnered pretty good reviews.

Sarah Koskoff

Salon, for example, says that although the movie starring Melanie Lynskey and Blythe Danner might be “too subtle (and too similar to several other low-key indie romcoms) to make a big splash,” it features “lovely performances and really builds strength as it goes along.”

That’s not what caught our eye, though. It was this paragraph — one worth reading through to the end:

The problem with “Hello I Must Be Going” is that Sarah Koskoff’s screenplay starts out so modestly: You think it’s just going to be a female early-midlife-crisis movie, or an older-woman/younger-guy love story, and, heck, it is both of those things. But to my taste, as the movie goes along it becomes much richer and funnier than that summary suggests, painting a satirical but sympathetic portrait of upper-crust family life in Westport, Conn., a rather toff and beachy New York suburb.

Note to Salon: “Toff” is a noun, not an adjective. Merriam-Webster calls a toff a “dandy or swell.”

Dictionary.com says a toff is “a stylishly dressed, fashionable person, especially one who is or wants to be considered a member of the upper class.”

And this, verbatim from the always-reliable Urban Dictionary:

Wearer of only Ralph Lauren polo shirts, usualy worn inside with loafers and torn up jeans half down their trousers, with 3day old boxers on underneath

Listen to songs like ‘Roxanne by Sting’ or the Top Gun soundtrack.

As for “beachy”:  well, yeah, we’ll cop to that.

Click below for a YouTube interview with director (and husband of Sarah Koskoff) Todd Louiso:

8 responses to “Westport: Toff Or Not?

  1. Toff You! Salon

  2. Toff is a derogatory term for the upper middle classes (and higher social ranks) in Britain. I don’t think Westport really merits this particular description. (And I have never heard it used as a noun. Until now.) It’s almost interchangeable with a `rah’ or a `Hoorah Henry’.
    British slang lesson over.

  3. Todd Louiso! He’s the baby-sitter in Jerry Maguire. Fantastic to hear from him again. Will find this film.

  4. my in-laws are from “across the pond” and they call rich snobby people “toffy-nosed”. i love it!
    another great one is when they notice a woman in her 40’s or 50’s dressed like a teenager, they always say “mutton dressed as lamb”. so descriptive!

  5. katherine hooper

    dont read this- just testing to see why my comment above came up anonymous.

  6. Oh dear. I wonder if I am an “old toff”.

  7. Estelle T. Margolis

    Toff or not, this community seems to have nurtured an amazing number of talented people.

    A Million Mazeltovs, Sarah. I can’t wait to see the movie!

    Love, Estelle