I Melt with You Reviews
Well made film. I simply was shock on how much I enjoyed this film and how diverse and original it was. Great directing, acting and amazing music, style and sound. All men should watch this film, I simply somehow identified myself in this film yet somehow pity the men in them.
Richard Thomas Jane), Ron (Jeremy Piven), Jonathan (Rob Lowe) and Tim (Christian McKay) are old college friends that gather annually for a week in Big Sur to celebrate their friendship and catch-up on each other's lives. They seem like typical men in their forties - all with careers, families, and enormous responsibilities - but like most people there is a lot more beneath the surface.
As the week progresses, they go down the rabbit hole of excess as mountains of drugs are consumed to a blaring rock 'n' roll soundtrack. Parties with much younger women spin out of control. Exhausted and run ragged, they bare their souls to one another revealing the disillusionment with their lives. As the truth emerges, the reunion takes a much darker turn when a promise from their past is brought to light. From director Mark Pellington, 'I Melt With You' is a visually dazzling, wild and wooly trip deep into the male psyche, driven by four amazingly committed and profound performances.
...Richard(Thomas Jane), Ron(Jeremy Piven), Jonathan(Rob Lowe) and Tim(Christian McKay) get together for their annual reunion, this time in Big Sur, California. While they enjoy hanging out together, their lives are otherwise a mess. Ron has the SEC up his ass. Jonathan is dissatisfied with his role as a pill pusher.(If that's how he feels, then he can volunteer at a free clinic or write a hefty check to Doctors without Borders to salve his conscience.) By the movie's own murky logic, worst off is Richard who is a high school teacher. Tim's problem is much harder to get at, only being referenced about halfway through and may somehow involve Sasha Grey. That's also the point at which any sign of a plot kicks in which involves the guys' overreaction to a promise made 25 years before, instead of being ashamed of having written such a bad piece of poetry.
On a positive, all the actors are well cast. Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, and Christian McKay all shine here. They have a great on screen chemistry. Carla Gugino also does a great job with her supporting role here.
Seeing as this is an independent film, it should go without saying that things get slow and overdrawn, but when it's not that, it's a touch too intense. By that, I mean that the film is rather overstylized, featuring too much music - some of which being inappropriate for the scenario - and sometimes overly flashy cinematography. Sure, the cinematography is handsome, but it's all part of the hyperstylizing that makes much of the film rather hollow. It doesn't help that much of the writing is pretty generic, particularly when it comes to the characters. Our "Friends-From-Their-Youth" team of leads are lifted straight out of chapter 29 of "The Big Book of Character Cliches", with McKay being pretty much a combination of all kinds of cliches: smart, nice, gay and atheist (Some redneck somewhere is saying "Dat dur's conterdictionary!"), and everyone else being one line from the book, such as the regular dad - played here by Piven -, the quiet guy going through some kind of pain - played here by Lowe - and, of course, the party dude that's still keeping the party going no matter what his age - played here by Jane -; and with these traditional characters come their tradition storyline, from their development - what little there is -, to their comeuppance, only this time, we're bashed over the head with some crazy stuff that's totally unexpected, because you wouldn't expect anyone but "Lifetime" to pull something this manipulative. No, it's not that bad, but the film doesn't so much pull at your heartstrings, as much as it pokes at them, poking and poking until you're left down in the dumps by this extreme manipulation; but it's understandable why the film would push too hard, because you have to put some work into making these druged-out, self-indulgent jerky leads compelling. Too bad someone beat them to the punch, because the manipulation would have gotten out investment in the leads, if the leads weren't already compelling, because the performers behind them are so strong and charismatic; or maybe it's just the music that's so charming.
Although the soundtrack's prominence gets to be overwhelming, it's still a pretty good soundtrack, really fitting the party tone when it's going, and with neat sound design tricks complementing the music, you can expect one heck of an fast-pace simulation of the party experience. We're led through it all by our performers, who carry the more chipper moments of the film with charm and strong chemistry. However, when the party dies down, bleakness rises, and although that bleakness is a bit too much of a party pooper, considering that it's much too manipulative, the performers play it with genuineness. Christian McKay oozes quiet presence, being subtley charming, but when things go down, he's the first man to play up the weight of the situation, and the others soon follow. McKay further shows us his great acting abilities, but Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe and Jeremy Piven show just what they can really do, giving layered, heavily emotional performances that, when working off of each other, make the chemistry change smooth. All throughout part one of the film, you feel the happiness and comradery, but at part two, when tension rises, you feel them as they realize how little they actually know, and you're left on the edge of your seat, wondering what new and unexpected turn will be taken next, because at that point, the joy turns sower and you realize that no one is same, from themselves or each other. Now, these aren't necessarily masterful performances like I'm making them sound, but they're not suppose to be, and our leads know that, not playing over each other and giving equally solid performances that carry the film through thick and thin.
When it's all said and done, cliched characters eventually fall into unpredictable predicaments, but even then, the film could have been more inventive, because those moments of bleakness are all too melodramatic and manipulative; but no matter what highs or lows the film hits, it can always run back to its fine style - often overwhelming though, it may be -, but most of all, its performers, all of whom bring strong, layered performances and sharp chemistry that go from charming to tense, making "I Melt With You" a chiller of an ever darkening experience.
3/5 - Good
Good concept. Poor execution. Save yourself the two hours.
I came here to Rotten Tomatoes and to my surprise read all of these "clever" little reviews panning it. Wow. I seem to be in the minority here - but then again, episodic TV and cable channel releases make me want to SLIT MY WRISTS with their flat lighting, one dimensional stories and flimsy, robotic, predictably beautiful characters.
Maybe the movie struck a chord in me because I enjoy watching great acting and interesting, off beat stories that don't follow the typical, obvious Hollywood model.
There are no car chase scenes here . . . oh my. Maybe that's why some people didn't like it. There is little nudity. No love story. No couples cheating on one another behind each others backs. And there are no superheros, gangsters, guns, vampires, talent shows or even one single dance competition in the entire script!
Well . . . one can easily see that this originally written and expertly executed flick is not for the average movie goer . . .