Richard (Thomas Jane), Ron (Jeremy Piven), Jonathan (Rob Lowe) and Tim (Christian McKay) are old college buddies who gather for one week each year in big sur to celebrate Tim's birthday and catch up on each others lives. On the surface, they look like typical men in their forties, with careers, families and responsibilities, but as with most people, there is more to them than meets the eye. As the week progresses, they go down the rabbit hole of excess: mountains of drugs are consumed to a blaring rock 'N' roll soundtrack and parties with much younger women spin out of control. Exhausted and run ragged, they bare their souls and soon realise none of their lives will ever be the same again as their reunion takes a much darker turn and a promise deep from their past is brought back into light.
‘I Melt With You’ finds inspiration from 80’s hit of the same name – and the ‘melting’ process, which is just another way of saying you’re all ‘drugged up’. Well, in the movie ‘I Melt With You’, there’s drugs, booze, sex, and debauchery had by all. And they’re courtesy of a group of middle-aged men who meet on a weekend to relive their glory days when they were young and cool. Talk about issues.
Directed by Mark Pellington (who has ventured into feature films: ‘Arlington Road’ and ‘The Mothman Prophecies’), a former music video director whose fast cuts and flair for the soundtrack, ingests a jarring portrait of men who deal with their insecurities via a weekend of all-out partying, conversations, and ultimately, self-destruction. And it ain’t pretty. ‘I Melt With You’ stars fortysomethings: Rob Lowe is a divorced doctor who gives away pills like party favors, Thomas Jane’s a failed novelist who currently teaches in a school, Jeremy Piven’s a sexed-up bachelor that may have been involved in criminal money activity and is being investigated on, and Christian McKay is having his emo moment, ruminating over a tragic past.
‘I Melt With You’ has its finely-acted moments, thanks to its competent actors specially in Rob Lowe and Thomas Jane, but their efforts don’t pay off here. Lowe has been the good looking bad boy with issues guy since the 80s, so he’s had some practice. It’s just a waste that he has to be relegated to such a role when he can do so much more (‘The West Wing’ and ‘Parks and Rec’, anyone?) Actress Carla Gugino comes in the latter half of the movie as a cop to break up the party, but then, poof.
Basically, ‘I Melt With You’ is a bromance flick a la Judd Apatow’s movies – with no humor. If this movie’s proving to be the new age-macho ‘Steel Magnolias’ where you cry every second for each male bonding they do, it fails miserably so. There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow here. Just crappy feelings in a dirty jar.