Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011

I Melt with You

In Big Sur, four longtime friends gather for their annual reunion. There's a doctor (Rob Lowe) who arrives bearing pharmaceuticals, a sleazebag (Jeremy Piven) with suspicious business dealings and a high school teacher (Thomas Jane) who once was big man on campus. The fourth friend (Christian McKay) is gay and guilt-ridden. They pop pills, snort powders, booze it up and invite hot young locals over. Then one of them drags out a 25-year-old pact, and they confront the disillusionment of their lives. Despite director Mark Pellington's attempts at suspense — he keeps showing fragments of the pact, but we can't see what it says, and there's a local cop (Carla Gugino) whose inopportune investigations might divert the dudes from their mission — there's no question as to what resolution he has planned for this collective midlife crisis. The journey there is agonizingly long, loud and false. Even the dissipation feels like an act. Only the scenery has merit.