By Lori Perkins
Do you like bad movies? I mean classic turkeys that you just have to tell everyone about, and maybe even Tweet out a scene or two, because you can’t believe how tone-deaf and abysmal they are. My favorites are ones where an enormous amount of money has been spent like Cats and Showgirls, but I can also watch The Room, Plan 9 from Outer Space and anything by bad movie auteur Neil Breen multiple times.
Until now, all these uniquely bad films were made by men, but this year, amidst the pandemic lockdown, police brutality protests and economic crisis, Louise Linton, the wife of former US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, has broken through the glass ceiling to become the first female auteur to bring us a classic that makes it into this hallowed circle of cinematic turduckens. Released a few days before Valentine’s Day in the US (and today in the UK and France), You, Me Madness is like the science experiments children make where they mix everything they can get their hands on –all the “good” stuff”—and create some sort of frothy concoction that is almost indescribable even though you can almost recognize some of the ingredients.
The “plot” of this 98-minute tour de farce centers on a self-absorbed female hedge fund manager who also happens to be a cannibal serial killer. Linton would probably love it if you described the film as a gender-switched American Psycho meets Pretty Woman (especially since she has paid millions to license quite a few 80s pop hits such as The Pointer Sisters “I’m So Excited” and a-ha’s “Take on Me”). However the Julia Roberts character is a petty thief played by Ed Westwick (of Gossip Girl fame and a recent rape allegation) who truly has no redeeming qualities which, of course, makes this serial killer fall in love with him and forsake her evil ways.
WTF? It’s a comedy/satire/rom/com? With 43 costume changes, too many expensive cars that never move and a soundtrack that kills. It is gloriously overwritten (Linton wrote, directed and starred) with mom jokes (couch/sofa), constant breaking of the fourth wall and asides that make you cringe and go on too long, and MTV video editing and cinematography that would only work if this was intentionally campy. I know Linton wanted it to be (I’ve read a plethora of interviews with her where she tries to tell us how clever the movie is), but when you work in a vacuum (there’s a reason why editors exist), sometimes you can’t see the forest for the matchstick.
I laughed, I cried, it WAS better than Cats, just not it in the way Linton had hoped.