Movies

The Plot Of Louise Linton’s Cringeworthy Vanity Project ‘Me You Madness’ Recreated Using Quotes From Reviews

Apparently it’s vanity project month here on Plot Recreated With Reviews. For our last subject, we had Music, Sia’s disastrous autism musical. Today we have Me You Madness, current-wife-of-the-former-treasury-secretary Louise Linton’s tragic-comic bonfire of money (yes, her husband Steve Mnuchin founded a film financing venture at one point). It’s another movie that sounds like something we don’t especially want to watch, but would love to hear described.

A little backstory: Louise Linton was relatively infamous for being an out-of-touch narcissist even before she met and married her real-life supervillain husband. In 2016, she self-published a memoir about her gap year in Zambia, describing herself as a “skinny white mzungu with long angel hair,” and recounting the nights she spent terrified of the armed rebels then terrorizing a completely different country. In another passage she wrote, “I try to remember a smiling gap-toothed child with HIV whose greatest joy was to sit on my lap and drink from a bottle of Coca-Cola,” she writes. “Zimba taught me many beautiful words but the one I like the most is Nsansa. Happiness.”

Right, so that lady. The one who posed with the money.

She has since made Me You Madness, a slasher-comedy vanity project that she wrote, directed, and stars in, and which co-stars ferret-faced former Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick, who seems to have been mostly unemployable lately thanks to some rape allegations. The picture from the “premiere” looks like they scraped Westwick off the floor in the midst of some retired-action hero bender in order to pose awkwardly next to Mnuchin. The Hollywood Reporter notes that more than half the audience left the premiere screening early, despite the fact that it was held at a drive-in.

Many reviewers compared the film to American Psycho (which the film takes great pains to compare itself to), made by someone who thought Patrick Bateman was the hero of American Psycho. But hey, why spoil it? Let’s dig in. Today, we are all that smiling gap-toothed child with HIV.

Linton stars as Catherine Black, the owner of a hedge fund firm who is inordinately wealthy, verifiably intelligent, fashionable, beautiful, and irresistibly sexy. The character points out having an IQ above 170. (MarkReviewsMovies)

She is addicted to exercise, taking black-lit spin classes wearing glow-in-the-dark bunny ears, lifting weights, and doing 1,000 butt crunches. (Salon)

“You may think that this is a straight rip-off of American Psycho, and in some ways you may be right,” Catherine’s rapid-fire voice-over admonishes us in the film’s early scenes. (Vulture)

She’s a self-aware master of business, intimidating employees and masturbating to stock reports. (BluRay.com)

She’s bipolar, with a lust for murder that demands constant satisfaction, leading her to collect body parts in her home for later consumption. (BluRay.com)

The character, Linton informs us in a director’s statement, is inspired by such iconic cinematic femme fatales as Sharon Stone’s Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct, Glenn Close’s Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction and the central figure in the classic 1945 noir Leave Her to Heaven, although the last homage would be more convincing if she knew that the name of that film’s star was spelled Gene, not Jean, Tierney. (Hollywood Reporter)

By way of introduction, she discusses how male spiders risk death in order to mate, then promptly tosses a rather large eight-legged critter into her mouth and eats it. (CNN)

(Not to worry, the end credits assure us that “Kiki the spider was not harmed, or eaten, during the making of the film.”) (HollywoodReporter)

THE BRAGGING

“I’m happy when I wake up, because I remember that I’m me and my life is incredible,” Catherine tells us. (HollywoodReporter)

“I’m rarely if ever comfortable, but I look incredibly stylish, which is much more important.” (AlternateEnding)

THE HOUSE

As seen in various swooping overhead drone shots through the film, Catherine’s home appears to be several football fields long, but only one story tall. It is Snowpiercer: The House. It also appears to be from an alternate timeline of The Office where Michael Scott got rich: The home is absolutely filled with neon, which occasionally reflects off characters’ faces when they’re talking. (Defector)

TYLER

The plot is set in motion with the arrival of Tyler (Ed Westwick, Gossip Girl), a hunky young man who answers Catherine’s ad for a room to rent (HollywoodReporter)

He’s thunderstruck by Catherine’s mansion and all the surprises it contains. (Blu-Ray.com)

He turns out to be a petty criminal and con man, although not a very bright one, as indicated by his failing to notice when she slips a roofie into his drink. (HollywoodReporter)

She then gropes him while he’s unconscious, forestalling any audience disapproval by looking directly into the camera and announcing, “Oh, shut up, PC police! No one wants to hear you bitch about it.” (HollywoodReporter)

She states with glee that it’s “hilarious to harass a man.” (CommonSenseMedia)

Soon, after a three-way with best friend Yu Yan (Shuya Chang), (Deadline)

…multiple costume changes, repeated cutaways to Catherine gyrating, and some montage-y hot sex, (Vulture)

he’s smitten and has second thoughts about robbing her (Vulture)

…and she doesn’t want to kill him. What’s a couple in love to do? (Salon)

The none-too-bright Tyler generally sounds as confused as the audience. “I can’t tell if you’re being funny,” he tells Catherine. (CNN)

FOURTH WALL BREAKING

In no time both he, and we, find out what she’s been up to, thanks to a freezer stocked with various heads and body parts. In fact, Catherine does a Flashdance-style piece of choreography while seductively embracing the various dismembered parts she retrieves from her storage. (Deadline)

The lead performers don’t so much wink at the camera as leer at it and threaten to lick it all over (HollywoodReporter)

Rather than reference films she likes obliquely, Linton sometimes decides to just state the name of the film she would like to refer to, often in a monologue directed straight at the camera (Defector)

…declaring “this moment should remind you of this movie, since that’s where I stole it from” (AlternateEnding)

At one point, (Defector)

an entire list of movies that feature guns (complete with quick-scrolling onscreen text!), and the relative merits of using a curling iron as a murder weapon… (Vulture)

just scrolls up the screen as her character names them. At some point, her voice is sped up so as to more quickly make it through the list. (DEFECTOR)

The movie fast-forwards (squeaky high-pitched sound and all) to get through the list faster. (AlternateEnding)

The second time she does this is obviously knowingly making fun of the first time she did it (AlternateEnding)

CANNIBALISM

Yes, Catherine has a freezer full of body parts, and occasionally dines on them. (CNN)

She makes a killer “frat boy bouillabaisse.” (Vulture)

Men get punched, kicked, stabbed, drugged, killed, beaten to death with shoes or hit with household items or sporting equipment like a tennis racket. Frozen body parts are chopped up and sawed. A severed man’s head is used as a dance partner and more. (CommonSenseMedia)

ASININE DIALOGUE

Along the way, they engage in such seemingly endless debates as whether a piece of furniture is a couch or a sofa and the correct pronunciation of Van Gogh. (HollywoodReporter)

The film tries to punch it up by cutting directly on the dialogue, making one conversation after another a perilous adventure in choppy rhythm that feels like the movie is going to start choking on its tongue if it doesn’t take a second to draw a breath. (AlternateEnding)

The sound design also plays up various effects — a whoosh here, a clang there, a cat screech there, even a couple of farts — as if to lend some Looney Tunes–style verve to the action (Vulture)

PHILANTHROPY

Late in the film, she turns to the screen for a monologue about and why she’s actually doing the world a favor by killing these dudes—prison is expensive, she says, and rehabilitation isn’t possible. (Defector)

Her victims are homophobes, pedophiles, sex traffickers, neo-Nazis and even — gasp! laugh! — Republicans. (Don’t worry, she’s a bipartisan, bisexual murderess who also dispatches Democrats). (Salon)

And while Catherine pauses to give a PSA about not leaving animals in cars (even with the windows cracked), this important information is misplaced. (Salon)

There’s a weirdly high degree of Asian fetishism and exoticization in the film. Of the very few side characters in the film, 2 of them are Asian, both are confidants, one a manicurist named Tien-Ting (Jimmy Dinh), the other a lover named Yu Yan (Shuya Chang). In every scene with these two Linton shows off her Mandarin and “downness” with Asian peoples. (CommonSenseMedia)

THE CLOTHES

Half of the film seems intent on finding reasons to show off Linton herself, in all her different and expensive costumes and dresses and lingerie. (CommonSenseMedia)

Linton appears in a new outfit on the order of once every two minutes, their bright, over-saturated colors and sleek lines that are not meaningfully designed to accommodate the human body providing a garish, poppy contrast to the space. (Alternate Ending)

Catherine Black’s outfits – the New York Times informs us she wears 42 of them—seem expensive but are not noticeably cool. (Defector)

Westwick, for the record, spends the entire movie in a white Henley with a yellow plaid shirt tied around his waist, like 1997 never ended. (Alternate Ending)

STX Films

THE NARCISSISM

Don’t be threatened by this “really special” lady, who is amazing, beautiful, elegant, charming, smart, and sexy. (Those are words from the script; Linton also penned the screenplay). (Salon)

Many scenes simply devolve into Linton dancing (often erotically), working out, or showering. (CommonSenseMedia)

We’re treated to so many lascivious shots of Linton’s toned, bared physique that one would accuse the filmmaker of sexual exploitation if it weren’t Linton herself. (HollywoodReporter)

Spying Catherine in yet another of a series of provocative, body-hugging outfits, Tyler comments, “Really, another costume change?” At another point, he exclaims, “Whoever wrote this is a fucking genius.” (HollywoodReporter)

THE CONFUSING ACCENT

Linton’s dumbfounding performance intensifies, with her outlandish cornucopia of accents – she was born in Edinburgh, and that keeps bodily forcing itself through what sounds like she’s trying to do a Mid-Atlantic accent, but also with a clipped, bird-like tone, and on top of all of this she takes great pleasure in segregating the word “fuck” from every single line where it appears, just really caressing and rounding it, so we get lines like “Did you know there are actually no. Fuck. -ing spiders in Antarctica?” (Alternate Ending)

PG PORN

And the kissing. The kissing!! Louise Linton very much did not want to open-mouth kiss Chuck Bass. Every sex scene in this film is a chaste encounter where she makes out with his philtrum. (Defector)

Every time they kiss, they’re just mashing their tightly-closed lips against each other. (AlternateEnding)

MUSIC

The darkly comic, psycho-sexual thriller seemingly devotes most of its budget to two things: Licensing songs from the 1980s, and acquiring lavish wardrobe options for its central character. (CNN)

There are innumerable dance scenes, both from Westwick and Linton, none of which are interesting. (Defector)

And, then, the montages. My Christ, the montages. Me You Madness has no fewer than 22 fairly major hits from the ’80s and ’90s on its soundtrack (a few of them awful sound-alike covers), almost every last one of them artlessly faded in and out under a short flurry of shots of Catherine or Westwick’s thief-turned-cannibal-escapee Tyler doing something; “Jump (For My Love)” by the Pointer sisters accompanies a shot of Catherine walking up the stairs to her private jet, for example. (Alternate Ending)

A sequence of Tyler randomly dancing and lip-syncing in a red robe and red underpants to “I’m So Excited,” crosscut with Catherine carving up frozen corpse parts in her killing room, goes on for nearly the whole length of the song. (Alternate Ending)

CONCLUSIONS

Imagine the passion project of a very rich and very confident woman without any evident talent or perspective, or a functioning sense of humor. Me You Madness is that movie. (Defector)

A dazzling movie in the darkest possible way, a cutesy romcom buried under the most rancid cynicism, except that the film genuinely doesn’t seem to be cynical about it. (Alternate Ending)

There is a ridiculous “happy ending” in which the two main characters, who appear not to have aged at all, suddenly have three children. (Defector)

So there you have it. Say what you will about her terrible taste in… well… everything, the best thing Louise Linton could do for society is waste a lot of her awful husband’s money, and in that she seems to have succeeded spectacularly.

×