Seasoned assistant director Anthony Wilcox makes an uncertain feature-helming debut with London-set day-in-the-life comedy “Hello Carter,” loosely based on his 2011 short of the same name. Despite exec-producer oversight from distinguished pros Andrew Eaton and Michael Winterbottom, the pic suffers from a mismatch between its low-key charm and its contrived storyline. Charlie Cox convinces as a 30-year-old who has yet to find his way in life, and enjoys an easy chemistry with Jodie Whittaker as a dispirited office worker flung into his path. But it’s not enough: Today’s crowded market is likely to bid “Carter” a swift goodbye.
Homeless, jobless Carter (Cox) wants to track down the girlfriend who dumped him 11 months ago, deleting her Facebook account and changing her cell-phone number. As luck would have it, he finds himself on the tube with his ex’s washed-up Hollywood actor brother (Paul Schneider), in London on a personal matter. He’ll yield the digits, but demands Carter perform a favor — a mission that ends with the accidental kidnapping of a baby, and more besides. The DNA of Wilcox’s avowed inspirations, Scorsese’s antic “After Hours” and Winterbottom’s intimate “Wonderland,” is plain to see, but the genes don’t splice.