I Melt With You is best described as similar to The Inbetweeners Movie and The Hangover only with forty-something year old men, a lot darker and with no comedy.
Are you sold yet?
I Melt With You follows four well to-do middle-aged men from the monotonous, unexciting drabness of their everyday lives out to a vacation home where the old college buddies get together on a week-long bender. It’s a yearly ritual of leaving behind their troubles of daily life for a week of excessive drug taking, sex, partying and reminiscing over their college days. And it’s really depressing. It was like watching your dad and his friends embarrass themselves trying to relive their youth. Cringe!
The first half of the film establishes the connection between old friends and their place within the group. And we discover pretty quickly that each of them have major baggage and some serious problems. Ron (Jeremy Piven) is under investigation for stealing money from clients, Jonathon (Rob Lowe), a doctor, deals drugs to patients on the side, Tim (Christian McKay) is guilt ridden after a car accident that killed his sister and lover, and Richard (Thomas Jane) is a has-been writer turned English teacher. Get it? Boohoo it sucks to be them. So it’s no surprise when things take a sinister turn when Tim (Christian McKay) commits suicide leaving behind a note, an agreement signed in blood by each of them twenty-five years earlier. Though its doesn’t reveal what the pact is until the end, it’s pretty easy to figure out and by that point the film spirals out into the ridiculous. Initially it’s a film about men going through mid-life crisis delivered with brutal honesty. But as the film progresses, the more out of touch and unrealistic it becomes. Characters don’t resemble what they were in the beginning and their actions seem out of sorts. And I found that really disappointing because the film had such potential. These are great characters, intricate with fascinating back stories that had me invest my sympathy in them. You empathise as their need to clamber on to memories of their youth becomes desperate in an attempt to escape the present, where they are faced with the banality of everyday life and responsibilities. But all that is lost in the last half hour as their characters become unrecognisable. Their actions seem far-fetched and instead of feeling sorry for them as you’re probably supposed to, I wanted to shake them and say “stop being such a whining bitch, pull yourself together man” and then I’d slap the director and say “What where you thinking?”
With its ending aside, I Melt With You was an alright film, made slightly better by its incredible 80’s rock soundtrack that included U2, The Pixies, Adam And The Ants, Sex Pistols, and The Specials. It was great watching middle-aged men pogo round to the Sex Pistols, bringing back memories of my step dad doing exactly the same at his wedding reception and spraining his ankle. That’s what happens when ‘old’ people try reliving their youth, and if I Melt With You is anything to go by then you’ll do anything to avoid accepting middle age.
It’s a mid-life crisis movie that starts well and ends terribly, and though its thought-provoking, leaving you to question the mundane uninspiring normality of your own everyday life you quickly forget about the film itself. The performances were decent but nothing out standing. And Piven, Jane, McKay and Lowe probably took the job as a vacation away from their own responsibilities. Though a Hollywood actors life is far from mundane!
Watch it if your bored or there’s nothing else on that you’d rather see. But don’t bother if you’re struggling with your own mid or even quarter life crisis –as I am- because it will only make you feel worse.