I Melt With You stars Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe and Christian McKay as four best friends who meet up for a reunion to drink, do drugs and take a vacation from their daily lives. Carla Gugino and Sasha Grey are featured, it has opening credits akin to Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void, an incredible (but possibly temporary) punk rock soundtrack and an awesome beach house setting. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, as directed by Mark Pellington, I Melt With You is a over-indulgent, bloated, valueless film that’s among the worst I’ve seen so far at the Sundance Film Festival.

Richard, Ron, Jonathan and Tim (Jane, Piven, Lowe and McKay respectively) are college buddies who, every year, reunite and get wasted for a few days. So for the first hour of the film, the guys drink, snort coke and pop pills to excess before a major event / random revelation totally changes the drive of the film for the final hour. They still get messed up, don’t worry, but now they get messed up for a reason. Kind of.

To say more about the film would be delving into major spoilers and while I don’t recommend you see I Melt With You, I’m still not going to spoil it. I will say that if the film had just stayed as a sort group version of Leaving Las Vegas, it would have been much more enjoyable. Instead, it seems to say that life is only worth living if you’re numb to your problems and running away is an acceptable solution.

An audience could probably buy into those anti-morals if the characters were relatable or nice but these are not. With the exception of McKay, the other three men are self-centered and privileged. They have no idea how good they have it and their complaints simply don’t register in a culture where so many people are unemployed. How can we feel bad for the former New York Times best-selling author, the devious multi-millionaire or the drug dealing doctor? We don’t. They’re not particularly good people.

To Pellington’s credit, the actors look like they’re having a blast and he was obviously trying to make a point with the film. It even starts with a ton of energy and excitement, but that eventually fades because it’s too long. Thematically, it misses the mark so wildly, it begins to border on humorous. Still, with such an impressive cast, chances are I Melt With You will get some kind of release. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

/Film Rating – 3 out of 10

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About the Author

Germain graduated NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Cinema Studies program in 2002 and won back to back First Place awards for film criticism from the New York State Associated Press in 2006 and 2007.

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