Movies: True Romance

May 5, 2005 at 5:36 PM (General)

I watched True Romance last night.  This 1993 movie has an amazing cast — Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, James Gandolfini, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Tom Sizemore, Chris Penn, Brad Pitt, Bronson Pinchot, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, and others!  It is written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott.

The story goes like this — Clarence Worley (Slater) meets a girl called Alabama (Arquette) at a movie theatre during a Sonny Chiba triple feature, and finds out they have lots of common interests — kung fu movies, Elvis, comic books…  They fall in love but then Alabama confesses that she’s a callgirl (actually she’s been that for only four days), but that she truly loves Clarence.  The two get married, but Clarence decides that he has got to kill Alabama’s pimp Drexl (Oldman).  He does so, and leaves the place with a suitcase that he assumes is full of Alabama’s stuff.  As it turns out, it is actually full of cocaine, and pretty soon the couple are on the run from the mob and the cops, while attempting to sell off the drugs.

This is a romantic movie done Tarantino-style — it is absolutely crazy and has the expected strong violence and incessant profanity (IMDb trivia page says that there are 225 occurrences of the word f*ck and derivatives), but the characterisation is superb and I thought the romance between the two leads was very well developed.  Ultimately, it’s a very sweet movie, and has some outstanding performances.  And since this is a Tarantino script, there are a huge number of memorable scenes and dialogues &#151 "it’s better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it", the cocaine-in-the-face scene (one of the funniest bits I’ve ever seen!), the opening "I’d f*ck Elvis" speech, and several others.  At the end of it all I had a huge smile on my face, having thoroughly enjoyed the past two hours.

It’s difficult to go wrong with a movie where one of the main characters works in a comic book store, and where characters are shown watching movies like A Better Tomorrow II!  Even the not-so-popular action movie Freejack and the soap Santa Barbara make their appearances on TV screens within this movie.

As far as Tarantino films go, I still think that Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill are superior, though this movie is almost as good.  Apparently it was director Tony Scott who decided to film the movie linearly, the script by Tarantino was not in chronological order.


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