So this is what happens when Men Of A Certain Age give up? At the end of Mark Pellington's I Melt With You (with Neil LaBute as exec producer), you're left with nothing except an intense feeling to smack him around for wasting your night.
It's bad enough watching young boys pull a Dazed and Confused but when the protagonists are 44-year-old losers who have no one to blame but themselves for the lame life choices they've made, it's just pathetic and tired.
If they didn't start killing themselves I would have silently chanted for a Texas chainsaw massacre just to get the ball rolling.
Jeremy Piven, Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe and Christian McKay escape their daily routine for what's supposed to be happy, "free" times in a seaside home they've rented for a week.
They're out to reminisce. But just as the '80s punk music that rages on the soundtrack symbolizes, those times were/are anything but merry.
Lowe has grown up to be the divorced doctor who sells prescription drugs to bored housewives (but provides them free to his bros). Piven is the devoted family man about to be busted by the SEC for defrauding his clients. McKay can't get over the car crash that killed his wife and his boyfriend and Jane is a one-hit novelist turned high school teacher with writer's block.
Each is cliche. Each unsympathetic. Like the movie itself.
The only thing that kept me in the seat was the note.
An hour in and McKay finally offs himself and leaves a note. The damn suicide note. It has a profound effect on the other three and you quickly get that it represents a suicide pact they made in college.
OK, time to leave. But then you wonder, "What does it say? How could a college note make grown men commit suicide?" So I stuck it out - against my better judgment - to watch each die while the remaining bury the body in the backyard.
Let's not even go into how dumb the premise is. Yes, it happens. Look at the owners of La Caille. But to decide to kill yourself because your college friend did? Lowe could move and stop selling drugs. Piven could get a law degree in a minimum security prison. Jane could keep teaching (believe it or not high school teachers can be happy) and Mckay, well, he's probably better off dead.
But then you wouldn't have a soulless excuse for a movie called I Melt With You.