True Romance

I vividly remember being 13 years old, begging and pleading with my father to take me and my friend Brian to see Pulp Fiction in the theatres.  I can safely say I never was able to watch a movie the same way again without looking for something-maybe I’ll call it “magic”-but it forever changed my perception of film and what I look for in a good movie.  I ended up talking my dad into seeing Pulp Fiction 3 more times afterwards while it was still in the theatres, and God knows how many times on VHS.  After reading a couple of Tarantino books and also being consumed by his first film Reservoir Dogs, I’m not quite sure how in the hell (and am admittedly a little in embarassed) I’ve never seen True Romance until now.

Directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino, True Romance is the story of a comic book store clerk, Clarence (Christian Slater) who by chance meets a bubbly call girl named Alabama (not a prostitute) played by Patricia Arquette at a Sonny Chiba film.  They instantly fall in love and immediately marry – causing Clarence to approach Alabama’s pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman) and inform him that she is no longer an employee and collect her belongings.  After a bloody gun fight, Clarence collects Alabama’s suitcase which ends up (mistakenly) full of uncut cocaine.  Panicking, the newlywed couple visits Clarence’s father (Dennis Hopper), an ex-cop who is unable to provide them any shelter or cover.  Clarence and Alabama then decide to flee to Hollywood to unload the coke with the help of Clarence’s old buddy Dick (Michael Rapaport), his yuppie scum-wanna be actor friend Eliot (Bronson Pinchot!) and a brash Hollywood producer (Saul Rubinek).

With the mob (Christopher Walken, James Gandolfini among others) on their tail and a couple of overzealous and hiliarious cops (including Chris Penn and Tom Sizemore) suspicious of a big drug deal about to go down, its only a question of who ends up with the coke and the money in the end.

Bluntly speaking, True Romance is grade-A, trademark Tarantino gold.  With razor sharp dialogue, gratuitous and brutal violence and outstanding acting performances all around, this is can’t-miss cinema for fans of crime capers.  With so many talented actors generously handing out memorable moments like a stoner burn-out Brad Pitt or a mob henchman like James Gandolfini, one particular face off between Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper ranks among my all time favorite scenes in any movie, ever.  Needless to say, I am going to immediately purchase the dvd release so I can hear Tarantino’s full-length commentary.  Overall a wonderful experience.

Survey says… 5 stars out of 5.

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Categories: Movies

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