You're Killing Me (2015) **
D: Jim Hansen
C: Matthew McKelligon, Jeffery Self, Bryan Safi, Drew Droege, Edi Patterson, Jack Plotnick, Matthew Wilkas, Sam Pancake, James Cerne, Rachel Shukert, Shaughn Buchholz, Carolyn Hennesy, Ranney Draper, Mindy Cohn
Plot Synopsis: A group of social gay men welcomes a handsome new guy into the circle of friends, but they fail to notice that friends start disappearing, one by one.
Review: In the opening scenes, we're introduced to Joe, a mentally troubled young man who feels detached from the world around him. He's surrounded by people who put up fake facades. No one gets him. He drifts through life, repressing who wants to be, in order to maintain appearances. This initial set-up evokes the work of Bret Easton Ellis' classic novel Less than Zero.
Tired of confirming to the world around him, Joe kills his boyfriend and then starts to dispatching of anyone else that is holding him back from living the life he wants. In a way, this is a story about a person who's rebelling against the constraints that society imposes with the main character of Joe using murder to break free. In the role of Joe, Matthew McKelligon captures the aesthetic of a Bret Easton Ellis novel to perfection. He finds that balance of aloofness while also giving Joe humanity.
However, and I hate to make it seem like there's always a however, there's a romantic sub-plot about Joe falling in love with a wannabe internet star. With this sub-plot, they take a parody like approach, but it's never clear as to what point they're trying to make. They comment about any and everything imaginable from eating carbs, to Oprah, to chasing celebrity through the internet, to how people don't listen to one another, to the various elements involving relationships and that's only the tip of the iceberg. Some of it's insightful. Some of it's amusing, but there's never one well articulated train of thought. It's like a person who rambles on & on.
Joe's story of rebelling through murder and the romantic sub-plot feel like two distinctly different movies crammed into one. As a result, the two movies co-exist uneasily with one another. This trickles down to every aspect of the production. Some of the performances are grounded in reality. Others are broad & cartoonish. Some of the locations, set decoration & color palates evoke that cold, icy abstract quality of Bret Easton Ellis' work. Others are bold & colorful. Some of the humor is dark. Other parts are greatly exaggerated.
You're Killing Me is never able to find its footing, because there's too many ideas and none of them come together to form a cohesive whole. On a more positive note, it's better that they have too many ideas as opposed to not having enough. On the next production, they only need to edit themselves. With this film, it's a mess, but, at least, it's a watchable mess. [Not Rated] 88 minutes.
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