The stars of “I Melt with You” want you to know this: this film is no one’s idea of “product.” Opening in theaters this weekend in limited release after a run on VOD, it’s a movie made by guys who are clearly trying like crazy to do something that’s far from the current run of the mill — and also paying tribute to John Cassavetes’ 1970 masculine emota-fest, “Husbands.” Jeremy Piven calls it “an existential horror film,” and Rob Lowe calls it “impressionistic,” and that’s about as good and relatively flattering a description as any. The highly intense drama first screened at Sundance to a number of walk-outs, a matter which one of our speakers will address shortly.
Directed by Mark Pellington (“Arlington Road,” “U2 3-D”) and written by first-timer Glenn Porter, “I Melt with You” stars Rob Lowe, Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven and Christian McKay (“Me and Orson Welles”) as four smart yet deeply stupid 40-something college buddies who reunite for drug and booze-laden fun in Northern California’s ultra-scenic Big Sur. Let’s just say that after way too much fun, things take a sharp and very unfortunate left turn. Despite the appearance of Carla Gugino as a sympathetic local constable and Sasha Grey as a Sasha-licious coed, as well as some great vintage punk rock, we are left to wonder if maybe these guys would have been a lot better off if they’d listened to Nancy Reagan back in the day and went the “just say no” route. Also, suicide pacts are never a good idea.
Bullz-Eye and a select group of other journalists were fortunate enough to meet with Jane, Lowe and Piven — three strong veteran talents known to just about everyone with access to a television screen, most recently for “Hung,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Entourage,” respectively. They discussed the film and, as much as we could manage, other things.