I MELT WITH YOU Burns On Demand Before TheatersNovember 02, 2011

I MELT WITH YOU Burns On Demand Before Theaters

Magnolia Pictures

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: I MELT WITH YOU (Magnolia).



By Chris Claro


If Barry Levinson’s DINER represents the youthful-male-bonding flick, and Rob Reiner’s THE BUCKET LIST is the geezer model of the genre, we now have a contender for the film that falls squarely between the two. Mark Pellington’s I MELT WITH YOU is the story of four guys in their mid-forties whose yearly reunion finds them attempting to hold on to what’s left of their youth and their integrity. An overcaffeinated, overwrought, onslaught of middle-age angst, I MELT WITH YOU is an assault on the eyes and ears that says very little as loudly as it possibly can.

English teacher and failed novelist Richard (Thomas Jane, HUNG) is the first to arrive at the sleek Big Sur house overlooking the Pacific. Next is Tim (Christian McKay, ME AND ORSON WELLES), a sloe-eyed and doleful sort who has suffered an unspecified loss. They’re soon joined by Ron (Jeremy Piven, ENTOURAGE), a trader in trouble with the SEC, and Jonathan (Rob Lowe, PARKS AND RECREATION), a Dr. Feelgood who parses out painkillers to all the real housewives craving numbness.


Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe & Jeremy Piven / I MELT WITH YOU (Magnolia)

In addition to copious quantities of liquor, the quartet engages in 80s-level mountains of cocaine and enough pills to sedate a wildlife preserve. Pellington slowly – much too slowly – reveals their demons and does so by breaking out every gimmick that he used as a director of music videos for Public Enemy, Siverchair, and Foo Fighters: flash-cutting, overexposing the film, undercranking the camera, and a relentless soundtrack filled with artists known for their less-than-mellow tones, including the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Dead Kennedys.


Thomas Jane & Mark Pellington / I MELT WITH YOU (Magnolia)

It’s not until about an hour into Pellington’s gallimaufry that a shred of a story emerges, one that hinges on an agreement made back in the day by the four buddies. When that number dwindles to three, local sheriff Carla Gugino (RIGHTEOUS KILL), who’s about as credible as a cop as she would be portraying the pope, starts snooping around, and I MELT WITH YOU finally – and I do mean “finally” – gains some momentum in the rush to its inexorable and predictable conclusion.

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Mark Pellington - Director’s Statement: I MELT WITH YOUNovember 07, 2011

Mark Pellington - Director’s Statement: I MELT WITH YOU

Mark Pellington

Earlier this year Lars Von Trier wrote a "Director's Statement" for his new film MELANCHOLIA (Magnolia Pictures). On Demand Weekly published it upon the movie's video on demand release and commented more director's should do this.


Well lo and behold, Mark Pellington (GOING ALL THE WAY) has written one for his new film, I MELT WITH YOU, released last week on demand a full month before it will hit theaters.




Mark Pellington


I MELT WITH YOU was designed and conceived as an allegory about male friendship and failure, set inside the powerful bonds of memory and promise. I was interested in exploring how middle aged men become far different creatures than they imagined they would be, and how they deal with it.

It's the story of four men searching inside themselves and finding emptiness. The film was super low budget and driven by commitment and passion from all involved, and we shot it in 18 days in Big Sur. I worked on the script with its creator, the writer Glenn Porter, and we received input and support from executive producer Neil Labute.

The movie has aesthetic influences in 80's new wave/punk rock, and the aggressive cut up poetics of William Burroughs. It was inspired by the likes of Cassavetes' Husbands and Mike Leigh’s Naked. It is quasi-experimental, intense, and personal film for me, a 180 degree turn from my last work. We were all a team, a small band of actors and crew who took our collective influences and life experience and threw it into a harrowing experimental blender, exploring the vagaries of friendship, regret, shame, failure, greed, and the desperate search for hope.

It is a film that loves music and understands the role it plays in the highs and lows of life. It is a tale, on the surface, of old friends being confronted by their youthful promise, and shifts into an exploration of the dark side, the weakness of the male psyche and men who ultimately hide from themselves and their responsibilities.


Thomas Jane & Mark Pellington / I MELT WITH YOU (Magnolia)

At the end of the day I MELT WITH YOU is just a movie. However, it is not for the squeamish. It's the type of film that is going to generate controversy and garner deeply felt polarized reactions. I very much look forward to yours.


- Mark Pellington



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VOD Spotlight: Mark Pellington (I MELT WITH YOU)November 08, 2011

VOD Spotlight: Mark Pellington (I MELT WITH YOU)

Magnolia Pictures

On Demand Weekly spoke with Mark Pellington, director of the new movie on demand, I MELT WITH YOU, starring Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven, Christian McKay and Carla Cugino.

Frustrated by the often long process that comes with getting movies made today, Mark Pellington (GOING ALL THE WAY, ARLINGTON ROAD) resumed shooting music videos and began looking to, as he says, “take the creative process back to a more intuitive place of directorial freedom, and get out and shoot something down and dirty, yet meaningful— quickly.”

“I was looking to make a raw, visceral, music-driven film that expressed where I was in my life,” said Pellington.


Mark Pellington

He returned to a script (inspired by LA GRANDE BOUFFE (THE BIG FEAST)) from a lifelong friend, Glenn Porter, about men who had made an idealistic pact in college in their early twenties, and who are forced to confront the promise they made 25 years later.

“We are both 48, and found ourselves asking where our generation's version of Cassavetes’ HUSBANDS is…

where is the film about

our life experience?”

Pellington says.


Together, they embraced the punk rock spirit of making the film their way and said “fuck it, let’s just do it ourselves,” Pellington recalls.

What transpires is a very dark, raw film. “Rather than provide answers,” offers Pellington, “The film asks a lot of questions about the real life experiences of males. I MELT WITH YOU is about self-examination and connecting with the human soul. It could be from an email. I got an email from a friend I hadn’t heard from in 20 years who saw the film.”

I MELT WITH YOU has a very recognizable cast. It started with Thomas Jane as Richard the teacher and former novelist. The film opens on Jane in the classroom with the “Uncover & Real” lesson written on the chalkboard. Pellington explains writing is the thing Richard can’t do in his life


Thomas Jane & Mark Pellington / I MELT WITH YOU (Magnolia)

They then cast Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven and Christian McKay in the remaining three lead roles. “I needed male actors who had the courage to dig pretty deep, and Rob, Tom, Jeremy, Christian— they just went for it,” said Pellington. As the beginning of film continues, we see the remaining three characters leave their daily lives to embark on their annual reunion.

Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe & Jeremy Piven / I MELT WITH YOU (Magnolia)


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