This breakup song is about a guy who thought he found his everlasting love, but is now watching it tear apart. He would like to repair the damage, but can't, since he is "in too deep."
A band composition, the lyrics come courtesy of Phil Collins, who wrote some very personal heartbreakers after his 1980 divorce, but was remarried by the time he wrote this song. At the time, his Genesis songs were generally written in character and crafted for hit potential. It did the trick: "In Too Deep" became the fourth of five Top 5 singles from the Invisible Touch album.
This was featured in a 1986 movie called Mona Lisa, which has a very dark plotline revolving around a prostitute and an ex-con (played by Bob Hoskins). As detailed in the book Very Naughty Boys by Robert Sellers, the movie studio wanted a contemporary song for the film, so they they made a deal to use this track. The movie's producers weren't happy about this and had to shoehorn it into the film by putting a montage scene together around it.
This song plays during a memorable scene in the 2000 movie American Psycho where the serial killer Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale) plays the song for two ill-fated prostitutes at his apartment. He tells them: "'In Too Deep' is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as anything I've heard in rock."
Bateman then plays the Phil Collins solo effort "Sussudio," calling it a "great, great song."
The music video was directed by Jim Yukich, who did most of the Genesis videos. Unlike many of their videos, there is no tangental storyline - just the band performing the song. In our interview with Genesis keyboard player Tony Banks, he explained: "The songs that were most difficult in a way were the ones that didn't have any particular thing to act out. A song like 'In Too Deep,' for example, was quite difficult to do - it was just a performance video."