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Medicine for Melancholy 2009 NR CC

4.5 out of 5 stars (24) IMDb 6.8/10

WINNER! Audience Award, San Francisco International Film Fest; nominated for 3 Independent Spirit Awards. Arrival of a major new filmmaker heralded by this charmer about the day after a one-night stand

Starring:
Wyatt Cenac, Tracey Heggins
Runtime:
1 hour, 29 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Barry Jenkins
Starring Wyatt Cenac, Tracey Heggins
Supporting actors Elizabeth Acker, Melissa Bisagni, DeMorge Brown, Powell DeGrange, Chida Emeka, John Friedberg, Dana Julius, Ondine Kilker, Erin Klenow, Phoebe Chi Ching Kwok, Tommi Avicolli Mecca, Adam Moskowitz, Jennifer Sanchez, Kenyatta Sheppard, Emily Taplin, Brent Weinbach
Studio IFC Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I saw "Medicine for Melancholy" last year at the Sarasota Film Festival and was generally impressed by the film. "Medicine for Melancholy" tells the story of Micah (Wyatt Cenac) and Jo (Tracey Heggins), two strangers in San Francisco who wake from a drunken one night stand after meeting at a party. The film follows them through the following day, where they deal with the topics of race, urban life, and the ultimate issue of whether what happened between them truly meant anything or was simply a one night stand. Wyatt Cenac, now a correspondent on The Daily Show, is perfectly suited for his role as Micah and does an excellent job throughout the entire film. Anyone who enjoys Wyatt Cenac on The Daily Show will likely enjoy his role in this film. The film has it's slow moments and there are some scenes it could probably just do without, but it was all enjoyable in the end. The cinematography, which won a "Special Jury Prize" at the Sarasota Film Festival, did a great job in capturing and creating the mood and setting a mellow, dream-like atmosphere. I've been hoping for this film to be distributed for a while now and am glad to see that it is finally going to be released on DVD. I feel that more people need to see this film. Keep in mind though, that this film is an independent film and was made on a limited budget by an aspiring group of young artists. I had the pleasure of seeing a discussion and Q&A after the film with the writer/director and a few others involved in the production and editing of the film. Barry Jenkins, the writer/director of the film, acknowledged the film's limitations and a few moments in the film that he felt he could improve upon. Jenkins and the film's crew seemed passionate about the film and did an excellent job in making the film even with a small cast and a limited budget.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is tough to digest that this is Barry Jenkins' first movie. The confidence and the subtelty of his craft seems to reflect years of film making.

A great instance of this is the opening sequence. Two strangers wakiing up from a one-night stand and trying to find their bearings. The awkward glances, the stilted conversation are all something which most of us have known first hand.

In the above scene and pretty much forthe rest of the movie, Jenkins makes us a vouyeur yearning to know what transpires after that night. It is very reminiscent of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

As the non-night stand reluctantly meanders on to a day long romance, the characters and the city (my beloved San Francisco) comes to life.. Just like the early morning fog clearing out, the characters shake of their uneasieness and come into their own.

Wyatt Cenac - (of The Daily Show) shows us his flexibility beyond comedy.

Tracey Heggins is a revelation. The incredibly beautiful Heggins portrays the vulnerability and the defiance of a young African American woman in such an effortless manner. Hopefully Hollywood takes note. We could definitely do with more such actresses.

When I recommend Before Sunrise and Before Sunset to friends, I ask them not to watch it passively. Same applies to this movie. The nuances are the really tasty bits.
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Format: DVD
I heard about Medicine for Melancholy in a magazine, it was featured in its top five indie films of the fall so I had to check it out. Melancholy follows the adventures of Micah(Wyatt Cenac of the Daily Show) and Jo(Tracey Heggins) after they awake from a drunken one night stand.The morning after is awkward for both but Micah does his best to be upbeat and charming. Despite his best efforts, it's pretty obvious that Jo isn't having it. Jo accommodates him by agreeing to go to coffee and spiting a cab but burns him soon after by giving him a false name and leaving Micah to fork up the fee. A cunning attempt at a clean get away fails when Micah discovers that she left her purse. He tracks her down to return it and a budding romance begins, but not without some catches. "Medicine for Melancholy" is slow paced. So slow paced that it can become hypnotic but it's a quality that adds to its charm. Most of the compliments for the film have been for its cinematography but I felt that the gray filter that was used took away from some of the scenes of downtown San Fran. Overall, "Medicine for Melancholy" a pleasing film about being young and trying to connect with the opposite sex in a beautiful city, great performances and a well written script make this a film worth viewing.
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By manstein on December 28, 2011
Format: Amazon Video
what a fascinating movie.i have never seen anything like it. i didnt care about the race stuff so much except what it showed about their character. the great part was being an invisible spectator to two intimaTe strangers in their first sober 24 hours together. what i thought about each of them in the beginning is not what i thought in the end. i was privileged to see the good, bad, and ugly about both and clues about the genesis of their anomie.what a lonely feeling i shared with them at the end. i loved this work of genius. been there.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My arts fraternity, Gamma Xi Phi, recently got together to watch this DVD. We like to highlight independent works where possible and none of us had yet seen Medicine for Melancholy.

To recap the plot: A black guy and black girl randomly hook up at a party and spend the next 24 hours together enjoying and re-discovering San Francisco.

The twist is how Barry Jenkins gets us there. In my opinion, the viewer instantly falls in love with Micah. He seems to be a complex, artsy, romantic... and he's awkward. The female lead, however, is less sympathetic in the beginning. (Her name is withheld because it's a spoiler, sorta.) So after the first ten minutes, my group really HATES the female lead. But we're eager to see how the director makes her sympathetic.

He does. He nails it with the story, she nails it as an actress. It's really just a beautiful, brief love story.

There are few things I could critique in this film. First, some of you may not like the washed out, nearly black-and-whiteness of the film. Only certain segments are filmed in vivid, rich colors. But I think that serves a purpose artistically.

There are a few scenes where the characters do things which may not occur between two strangers in the "real world" but because of the actors, you believe it. Well, I do.

There are also a few preachy scenes as well. Gentrification is a main point of this story and I think because me (and the audience I was with) thoroughly understand what gentrification and urban renewal mean to people of color and the poor, the narrative wasn't very necessary. BUT, I do think it was necessary for the female lead to hear said narrative. So again, all is forgiven.

I've said the word "awkward" once.
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