15. I Melt With You

Director: Mark Pellington
Stars: Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, Carla Gugino, Sasha Grey, Arielle Kebbel

The intent, however pretentious and overwrought it may be, had potential: Depict the unraveling of four hard-partying, secretly depressed 40-somethings as a visceral, profound dose of art-house filmmaking. In the hands of, say, Darren Aronofsky, I Melt With You’s heavy-handed themes and incredibly dark narrative might have achieved its desired impact, but director Mark Pellington is not in that league. Nor can otherwise enjoyable actors like Jeremy Piven, Thomas Jane, and Rob Lowe do anything to make their totally unsympathetic characters empathetic.

Under Pellington’s unbelievably unsubtle direction, I Melt With You beats its “life sucks for these guys” message over the viewer’s head so badly that its downbeat ending is actually celebratory—you want to see these D-bags die, and, spoiler alert, they all do. Not that you should really give a shit. Something tells us that’s not the reaction that Pellington hoped to inspire.