Mark Pellington's bromantic thriller I Melt With You made quite the splash at Sundance, just not the kind a filmmaker necessarily wants to make: Critics walked out of the film, recoiling at the bleakness on display in the tale of four former college friends (Jeremy Piven, Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, and Christian McKay), reuniting for a weekend bender, who confront their collective middle-aged disillusionment with increasingly violent ends. Co-star Piven knew from the start it would be a polarizing project to take on.
I Melt With You, Mark Pellington's dark -- and I mean way dark -- meditation on midlife crises and male bonding, proved to be decidedly difficult stuff for many critics Sundance Film Festival debut last January. Back then I wrote in favor of giving its existential punk romanticism a chance to make its case (especially if you're a fan of folks like Jeremy Piven, who turns in a great face-melting performance). You'll finally get your chance to weigh in on the IMWY debate this fall as the film makes its way to VOD and limited theatrical release; get in the spirit with three new stills that highlight the trajectory of Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, and Piven's bromantic weekend of horrors.
In Mark Pellington's divisive Sundance entry I Melt With You, Jeremy Piven plays a hard-partying Ari Gold-type reuniting for one crazy weekend with three college besties (Thomas Jane, Christian McKay, and Rob Lowe). But Pellington's psychological thriller is much darker than its Hangover-esque premise suggests, and as it takes the turns that alienated many critics in Park City, Piven plumbs intensely complex emotional depths. He spoke with Movieline about the polarizing film, his anti-Ari Gold roots, and -- why not? -- Miley Cyrus.
Although it wasn't quite as universally panned as Dito Montiel's Son of No One, and no one lost it and shouted at the filmmakers in a post-screening rant, Mark Pellington's dark bromantic thriller I Melt with You was the most controversially-received film at this year's Sundance Film Festival to land a distribution deal. (Read Movieline's assessment of the film and its disastrous first screening.) Hours after it was announced that Magnolia Pictures would release the polarizing film, Movieline caught up with Pellington and screenwriter Glenn Porter to discuss how they've been processing the negative reviews, how the deal with Magnolia went down, and what kind of tweaks will be made to the film before its theatrical release.
The mass walkouts were the first indication that Mark Pellington's I Melt with You was heading for a rocky Sundance reception; even critics who'd made it through couldn't wait to spill out into the hallways and let the vitriol fly. I Melt with You was, effectively, the first hands-down bomb of the festival. But does Pellington's midlife-crisis male-bonding thriller -- which was picked up today by Magnolia Pictures -- deserve all the flack?