Louise Linton made headlines two months ago when the trailer was released for her new picture, Me You Madness, which she wrote, produced, directed and stars in. The articles accused filmmaker of indulging in a self-obsessed “vanity project”. It feels necessary to mention that Linton is the wife of the former United States secretary of the treasury during the Trump years – Steven Mnunchin – and their wedding was officiated by Mike Pence himself. However, a far cry away from the White House lies the story of Catherine Black (Linton), a self-proclaimed narcissistic-murderous sociopath who dedicates her life to staying fit, thin and filthy rich; and murdering men.
When hipster himbo Tyler (Ed Westwick) feigns interest in Catherine’s ad for a roommate in her multimillion-dollar mansion (he wants to steal her things, she wants to kill him) Catherine soon realises she has met her match. Can Catherine fall in love with her intended prey? Or will she become the prey herself? What ensues is more outfit changes than you can count, one too many sing along dance routines to 80s hits and a number of movie references that would make Tarantino’s head spin.
What this film gets right, similar to Promising Young Woman, is female rage. Sometimes women do want to slice the head off the stranger who’s staring at their ass or who asks if they’re on their period. This movie gives feminist anger a tongue-in-cheek edge with the lead’s savvy narration – but this is unfortunately distracted by her tragic attempt at an upper-class English accent. One of the picture’s highlights is when Catherine lists out the reasons she has killed her victims which include being a Republican, homophobe, bigot and racist, as if instead of having a murderous appetite, she is a social justice vigilante.
The last hour of the feature is a real disappointment. The first forty minutes are compact with quick-witted lines, a steady build up of suspense and some decent comedy writing. However, the flick falls into a Groundhog Day loop where every scene, despite taking place in a new room and the protagonist dawning a new outfit, feels exactly the same as the last. The message conveyed at the ending breaks the self-awareness carried throughout the work. It’s an outrageous and facetious comedy, so trying to implement a meaningful moral only feels hollow.
Me You Madness is impressive in its first half, but loses its way and ends up spiralling into a derivative, repetitive and clumsy end.