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Chattanooga Film Fest 2023 "American Meltdown" - movie review

Stop me if you have heard this before. It's the end of the month and I have rent and all these bills to pay but "I'm broke". Being in your late 20s and 30's you assume things are starting to get figured out in your life. Time after time you find out you're mistaken. What really happens is you find out bills suck, being broke is horrible and maybe the only way to survive is living off the grid? In the morbidly hilarious feature from Andrew Adams's AMERICAN MELTDOWN, we meet two women with different approaches to life. Oliva is on the brink while Mari has found her way to survive. How the two combine becomes a darkly humourous female-driven buddy flick that will laugh you into tears.

Andrew gave such love to Mark Evans and crew for making AMERICAN MELTDOWN look fantastic. He is spot on in doing so as one of the things that instantly hits you is the amazing aesthetics. The movie is gorgeous and the women add every needed layer to the experience of watching MELTDOWN. Olivia is your classic over-stressed over latte D' individual. She feels her world is crumbling and there is no one reliable in her life to help out. She meets Mari, this bold and unapologetic soul. She starts to instill this unflinching confidence in Oliva that she fights as much as she's intrigued.

The two start a modern-day tale of unlikely cohorts bounding through freedom, revenge, and petty crime. Is Mari actually helping Olivia or turning her into something worse? There are moments when we all want to scream when no one is watching. Is it enough? Is it the release we actually need to break the monotony of the day-to-day grind? Like so many people you run across on the travel network, Mari may be right living the way she does. That will be up to you the viewer to figure out while watching AMERICAN MELTDOWN.

Look the title fits. I spoke with Andrew about this in our interview. Having a film with the title AMERICAN in it holds a lot of connotations. Though AMERICAN MELTDOWN feels like a true coming-of-age film for the millennials. With just a tad bit of petty crime and a ton of laughs, AMERICAN MELTDOWN will be a film you want to see. The performances by Jacki Von Preysing (Oliva) and Nicolette Sweeney (Mari) are as mesmerizing as the colors found screen. Make sure to keep your eyes out for this one!


AMERICAN MELTDOWN is directed by Andrew Adams and stars Jacki Von Preysing, Nicolette Sweeney, Clayton Farris, Shaun Boylan, Bella Shaw, and Christopher Mychael Watson.

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