Movie Reviews
The Very Best Bike Movies

Medicine for Melancholy Cover Medicine for Melancholy

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Bicycles seem to be a better medicine for melancholy than booze and drugs in this film that portrays the day after a one-night stand in the lives of two African Americans living in San Francisco.

They both seem to take to biking as readily and naturally as fishermen to the wharf as they romp around the beautiful City of Hills, trying to find common ground and shared interests. They bike almost everywhere and both must be carless since the only automobiles they get into are taxis. In fact, little by little it becomes apparent that bikes are just about all these two urban sophisticates share. That and their race.

Medicine for Melancholy is engaging – never heavy handed – as the two twenty-something main characters explore each other’s views on race, class, identity and gentrification, as well as art and love. The dialogue is sparse, with thoughtful interludes that leave you wanting more to flesh out these complicated characters. Ultimately, it all comes down to race. Perhaps that’s why most of the color has been drained from this film (using a process called desaturation), leaving a study in black and white.

The bikes afford a wonderful way to explore San Francisco, one of the country’s most bike friendly cities. The result is a stylish, urban portrait with a keen sense of place. Overall, the film offers a naturalistic blend of character and plot, action and reflection, discourse and disclosure, served up at the unhurried pace of a slow, casual bike ride.

Title: Medicine for Melancholy
Year Released: 2008
Duration: 88 minutes
Language: English
Bike Content: 6/10 wheels

Posted by Greg Borzo on 09/03 at 10:12 PM