Be Careful What You Promise
Director Mark Pellington crafted a Glenn Porter screenplay, which employed four good actors, into a film that did not have to be made. Director Pellington took 129 minutes of my time to show how four best friends can spend a week, which was an annual event, this time in a rented beach house in the Big Sur region of California, and nothing good could come from it. Even the titular song, "I Melt With You" by 80's glam band, Modern English, which ran as the background to the climatic end - the running of the credits - was a song that should have never been made. What melodic drivel?
Was this useless song allegorical to these four best friends': Thomas Jane as Richard, Jeremy Piven as Ron, Rob Lowe as Jonathan and Christian McKay as Tim, useless lives? Were these four Amigo's useless lives allegorical to the near certainty that one's life is fraught with disappointment or a crippling sadness?
Possibly; however, it is my opinion that Director Pellington just inadvertently showed us how some intelligent people will become self-indulgent pitiable wastes, rather than understanding their true essential value, and put it to good use as a productive member of society. This was not the case in this film.
In this film of profound sadness, these four lead characters each found a way to wallow in their own pitiful misery. Each character had failed, or was in the process of failing in life: Richard wanted to "write the great American novel," but ended up teaching middle school literature, Ron became a dishonest portfolio manager, with the regulatory "wolves at the door," Jonathan was a physician, who made his medical mark as the doctor in "doctor shopping," and Tim was a bad driver, who wrecked his car - killing his sister and his gay lover. This was a weird soup of lost souls, and at the heart of their week away from reality in their wasted worlds was a tidal wave of narcotics.
If the producers of this film wanted to make a public service commentary on the devastating effects of illicit drugs, they succeeded. If they were using these four friend's constant use of prescription pills, cocaine and weed as allegorical to how the engine of a reckless world beats creative, intelligent folk into a pitiable pulp, they failed.
Why did they fail?
These characters were totally unsympathetic. No sensible person is going to care about what is the eventual outcome of these self-indulgent, destructive cry-babies, who trample upon their greatest gift - their own human existence.
Watching them become self-consumed in their decadent deliverance into Hell was like watching an impending train wreck - I could not look away. I just hate that I needed to spend so much of my valuable time to do so.
Rated R. Released in theaters December 9, 2011.