Deadpool, John Wick, King Kong–I consider these all love stories and Me You Madness falls in this same category. On the surface it’s about a multi-millionaire with a penchant for murder and cannibalism, but then love enters the picture and things get messy(er). Writer/Director/Star Louise Linton came up with a fun (as she puts it) elevated story concept a.k.a the same but different. Though the comedic timing was inconsistent and the momentum unreliable, there was plenty of glitz, neon, fun quips, and lots of blood to redeem the story.
Catherine Black (Louise Linton) is an unimaginably wealthy hedge fund manager who gained her fortune with a ruthless, shark-like mentality. That killer instinct follows her home where she enjoys casually murdering men and serving them up for dinner. She lives this money, murder, rinse & repeat lifestyle until career criminal Tyler (Ed Westwick) shows up to lighten her load. While he’s planning his crime, she’s planning something of her own.
Black has a Patrick Bateman a la American Psycho-like charm and she even breaks the 4th wall to tell us so. This direct addressing of the audience happens several times which gives the film a self-aware edge and suggests it doesn’t take itself too seriously. That film style isn’t for everyone, I quite liked it. Me You Madness thankfully knows exactly what kind of movie it is because taking it in a more cinematically serious direction would have been a big mistake.
The coloration and overall aesthetic of Me You Madness is visually striking. Bright saturated neons paired with clean modern furniture made the set quite pleasing to the eye. These elements set up the perfect backdrop for delightfully wild sequences. My personal favorites were Catherine dancing with body parts of former victims while rocking out to ‘Let’s Hear It for the Boy’ and Tyler doing a very Kevin-Bacon-in-Footloose style dance montage to ‘I’m So Excited.’
Linton’s narration throughout was manic, erratic and contains lengthy phrases that became tiresome. These mini soliloquies are explicit reminders to the audience Catherine is rich, sociopathic, and proud of it and they definitely serve their purpose in elevating the film’s over-the-top nature. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, though, and that’s definitely true here.
The on-screen chemistry and banter between Westwick and Linton was obvious and quite fun to see. My favorite line of the film goes to Westwick with his, “I will Chateau Lafite the f*** out of this couch.” That being said, despite their obvious chemistry there’s the occasional comedic timing misfires or joke that doesn’t land.
The overuse of ridiculous sound effects (springs, whizzes, bangs, boinks, and farts to name a few) was dizzying and definitely my biggest gripe with Me You Madness. A few here and there would have been a fun additive to a delightfully over-the-top story, but feeling like someone was mashing their fingers across a soundboard during scenes that weren’t even completely comedic took away from the poignancy of anything.
Overall, the grandiosity and larger-than-life nature of Me You Madness is its best selling feature. I don’t think this film would have worked unless everything was over the top. The costume changes, crazy characters, and unbelievable storyline all come together to make a film that feels like a guilty pleasure. If you’re looking for a heavy helping of exaggerated dark comedies without too much depth, then throw on your leg warmers and press play (if you prefer grounded films with fewer fart noises, this one might not be for you).
5 out of 10