Review by Sean Boelman
Often when a filmmaker serves as writer, director, and star of a film, it is out of necessity, but Louise Linton’s Me You Madness is a vanity project if there ever was one. Inconsistent in pretty much every sense, this is a mildly entertaining but mostly forgettable film that could have used a clearer vision at the helm.
The film follows a young thief and an eccentric serial killer who match wits with each other when he tries to rob her house. In one sense, it desperately wants to be a female American Psycho, but it lacks the nuance or insight to pull that off, yet it is also too dark and bitter to be particularly successful as a romantic comedy.
Perhaps most damning is the fact that the film is divided pretty cleanly in two, and that structure doesn’t really work. For the first forty minutes or so, the film follows the serial killer as she takes advantage of the bumbling thief, only for them to be pitted against each other for the rest of the film. It’s such a massive shift that it doesn’t work.
There are also a lot of references and tongue-in-cheek moments in the film that largely don’t land. The near-constant breaking of the fourth wall becomes grating after a while, especially when the script seems to think that it is much smarter than it actually is. Brief glimpses of edginess interspersed with consistent over-the-top campiness is less than satisfying.
The idea of a wealthy female killer is an interesting one, but the personality that Linton gives to her is so scattered that it doesn’t exactly pay off. It feels like an amalgamation of so many other great characters that came before it. On the other hand, the romantic interest is about as cookie-cutter as they come.
Linton is most successful in the film as an actress. She brings an unhinged quality to the character that is pretty much the only thing holding this mess of scraps together. Co-lead Ed Westwick’s performance is far less memorable, although the chemistry he has with Linton is good enough to keep the viewer invested.
For better or worse, the film definitely isn’t lacking in visual energy. The editing style is truly erratic, there is some awful sound design, and Linton employs some annoying visual gimmicks. The only good thing about the execution is the soundtrack, which is filled with fun (if clichéd and basic) tunes to give the film a playful tone.
Me You Madness should be an absolute nightmare, but somehow, it manages to be mostly bearable despite all the factors working against it. Even if it is an imitation of better films, it’s not the worst rip-off there has been.
Me You Madness hits VOD on February 12.