Louise Linton’s eccentric one-woman show Me You Madness is one that will definitely be burned into my memory for months to come. A bizarre concoction of American Psycho (2000) attributes, neon colour palettes, and dismembered men – this film keeps the audience both engaged and confused throughout.
Linton stars alongside Gossip Girl heartthrob Ed Westwick, who plays a young and seemingly dumb petty thief who becomes entangled with the fascinating (but terrifying) Catherine Black, when he deceives her by showing interest in renting a room. Black (Linton) lives in a ridiculous, James Bond-style mansion in Malibu and despite his criminal task at hand, Tyler becomes naively obsessed with Catherine and decides to backtrack on his original plans and return the mustang and jewels he had initially stolen.
What might have been a “simple” story of crime and a millionaire, girl-boss lifestyle, rapidly spirals into a crazy whirlwind narrative of a fashion-obsessed serial killer – with a strong passion for irony and breaking the fourth wall. As director, writer, and star, Linton ensures the audience is constantly thrown out of their comfort zone, with overused direct address, excessive comedic moments, and melodramatic acting which suits the dark comedy style, but takes a bit of getting used to.
Linton and Westwick are a powerhouse ensemble; they create a dynamic duo with great chemistry and on-screen presence. Despite Linton’s clear dominance on-screen – as it is really her film – Westwick complements her and adds a contrasting element to the film. From Westwick’s success as the womanising bad boy Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl, and his clear comedic talent in the British TV show White Gold, his casting is definitely a fit for this wacky film.
To fit the lush and luxurious lifestyle of a successful hedge fund manager, that Catherine is, the cinematography cleverly mirrors that sense of wealth and entitlement, through its rich colour scheme and elaborate sets. Linton constantly satirically comments on narcissism and capitalism, through the comedy and visual aspects, which justifies the unruly focus on her and her alone. However, Me You Madness could be seen as a very self-indulgent film, as Linton is a successful actress, married to the Former United States Secretary of the Treasury – Steve Mnuchin, and arguably does live the exotic and extortionate life that is the joke of this story – obviously, minus the homicide (hopefully).
Overall, if anything, this film was at heart a fun watch, with an intriguing plot and great casting. As Linton’s writing and directorial debut, Me You Madness was definitely a unique watch, and kept the audience hooked with it’s bold cinematography, hilarious script, and disorientating style – with the consistent interaction with the audience, the random camera angles, and the sporadic plot. It was enjoyable to watch Linton and Westwick together, with their comedic synergy and onscreen fun. Maybe a good background watch, but a very fun one – and I bet they had even more fun filming it. From random dance breaks to eating spiders, Linton’s Madness is one to watch if you’re after a laugh.
“When love is not madness, it is not love.”
Me You Madness is available on digital from April 19.