Monday, March 19, 2007

movie review monday: true romance

True Romance

Quentin Tarantino scripted this wild and wooly blend of action and dark comedy, which reached theaters a year before his breakthrough hit Pulp Fiction. Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) is a well-meaning but socially unskilled comic-shop clerk whose idea of a big night out is catching a Sonny Chiba triple-feature at a downtown grindhouse. Clarence is celebrating his birthday in just such a manner when he meets a beautiful girl named Alabama (Patricia Arquette), and it's love at first sight for both of them. Clarence's enthusiasm isn't dampened much when he discovers Alabama is actually a prostitute who was paid by his boss to bump into him; she's only been in the business for a few days, and is more than eager to give up streetwalking to be with Clarence. However, Alabama is certain her pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman), will not be happy; he's an ill-mannered sort with mob connections and a fondness for violence. Chivalrous Clarence offers to break the news to Drexl and collect her belongings, but he doesn't tell her he also plans to kill Drexl while he's there; a melee breaks out that leaves Drexl and his henchmen dead. Clarence grabs a suitcase that he thinks contains Alabama's clothes, but he discovers it instead holds five million dollars' worth of cocaine. The couple hits the road for California, planning to sell the dope and enjoy the good life in South America with the proceeds, but soon a group of very unhappy underworld characters are after them, as well as the police. True Romance also stars Dennis Hopper as Clarence's father, Christopher Walken as a mob boss who wants his cocaine back, Brad Pitt as a cheerful stoner, and Val Kilmer as the ghost of Elvis Presley. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Running Time: 121 mins

Quentin Tarantino annoys the crap out of me. The only time I've ever seen him in something that I felt like he did a good job was when he made a few cameo appearances in Alias. That character was SUPPOSED to be ridiculously annoying but smart at the same time and he was the perfect guy to play a slimeball like that. I have a similar problem with Christopher Walkin in that these are people who don't really act. Rather, they show up to the shoot and have different lines and interactions for the same role they always play. Also, Tarantino's movies are kind of all similar to each other. Over the top violence, language, and sex. They kind of look the same, the same type of story line is there, and they tend to sound the same as well. I've seen the "classic" Tarantino movies and it's hit or miss. Pulp Fiction was alright but seeing it did make a bunch of other movies/tv shows funnier because I got the references they were making. Kill Bill was cool, but I liked Volume 2 about a gazillion times more than Volume 1. Etcetera.

With all of that said, I LOVED this movie. I didn't think I would but K kept telling me I would. I read the summary and thought it sounded ridiculous and there was no way I'd enjoy it but figured it was worth a shot. K has aquired all the kung-fu movies they talked about at the beginning of True Romance and I think it's his aim to have a quadruple feature one day.

There is gratutitous violence, sex, and language, but for whatever reason it all works together. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette are great and Arquette is especially adorable as Alabama. And hey, Brad Pitt is there and as gorgeous as ever. Heh.

It's completely bizarre, but this story is actually a terrific example of true romance. If you have a hard time with violence, and especially hand to hand combat, I don't reccommend the movie, but otherwise, give it a whirl.

Rating 3 of 4 stars

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