Me You Madness REVIEW – Silly, Vacuous Fun

Louise Linton's film doesn't take itself too seriously, and you shouldn't too.

Me You Madness

Cultured Vultures spoilers

Me You Madness is Louise Linton’s debut film – she is also the writer and star of it. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Linton’s husband is Steven Mnuchin, who was the secretary of state during the Trump administration. Linton had been criticised before for being an out of touch elitist, having posted a picture on Instagram in 2017 of a day trip to Kentucky on a military plane, with hashtags of all her designer items listed in her post. She also mocked a woman who called her out for it, which is shocking since she is a politician’s wife.

Why did I bother rehashing all that context? Well, Linton’s film follows Catherine Black (played by Linton herself), a wealthy woman who runs a hedge fund, someone who has a taste for the finer things in life. Perhaps a case of art imitating life? Oh, Catherine’s also addicted to an “indescribable violence”. Basically, this is a female version of American Psycho (so the film claims), with Linton’s Catherine in the role of materialistic sociopath. She invites Tyler (Ed Westwick) over to her home on the pretense of wanting to rent out a room, when in actuality she is luring him to his death. You might remember that we were privy to Patrick Bateman’s thoughts in American Psycho, but Me You Madness takes it a step further, by having characters directly address the camera/audience.

This blatant breaking of the fourth wall has its comedic moments, since Linton uses this to mock the lack of creativity in Hollywood scripts and the predictability in thrillers. However, she is also using those elements to hoist her own movie, with Me You Madness being an amalgamation of pop culture references and riffing off narratives that have come before i.e American Psycho and Silence of the Lambs (Catherine enjoys snacking on her victims). The trouble with having characters break the fourth wall is knowing the line to maintain, since each time they address us, they take us out of the action of the film. There is far too much of that going on in Me You Madness. Linton even goes as far as to praise her script writing abilities through a character breaking the fourth wall, and while it is played for laughs, it hints at Linton’s own vanity.

The film’s soundscape is composed mainly of high energy 80s jams, which was amazingly nostalgic and fun, with both Linton and Westwick grooving out to their own dance numbers. In fact, most of the dancing is intense hip-gyrating, furniture-humping, with air-thrusting moves thrown in for good measure. Both Linton and Westwick commit wholeheartedly to these wacky moments, and it’s not difficult to guffaw at the sight of Westwick dodging in and out of pillars like a Bollywood star. Like its name, the film is no-holds-barred madness, and just when you think the camp has reached its peak, we get a poolside molly-riddled orgy as well.

However, for all its fun silliness, it nonetheless falls apart in the third act. The pair attack each other, call a timeout (which is basically an opportunity for Catherine to do an outfit change), and then proceed with their back and forth barbs. It feels like Linton has run out of ideas and is stalling at this point (the pair argue whether it’s a sofa or couch for like two minutes), for unlike American Psycho, which is a black comedy and stays that way throughout (and is also satirical in a meaningful way), Me You Madness suddenly turns into a rom-com at the end.

This jarring shift is hard to take in, especially when Catherine spent the entire film claiming to be a self-absorbed misanthrope. The conclusion feels unearned, and I stayed till after the credits were over because I was so sure it couldn’t possibly end like this. But it did. How camp-letely disappointing.

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While Me You Madness is a female version of American Psycho, unlike the latter, its satirical elements feel hollow, and is gratuitous without any purpose. I did laugh as much as I cringed, though.