Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"True Romance (1993)

I recently asked one of my cousins, Lauren, which movie she thinks more people should watch.  She suggested the neo-noir romantic comedy, True Romance, which (for some stupid reason) I had never seen before.  

 Running Time: 118 Minutes (of early Tarantino dialogue).

Directed by: Tony Scott

Written by:  Quentin Tarantino

The movie also has an excellent supporting cast: GaryOldman, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, and Samuel L Jackson in a microscopic part. 

Plot: “Clarence marries hooker, Alabama, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood, while the owners of the coke try to reclaim it.” –IMDB

(Just watching this preview makes me nostalgic for VHS)

How I Discovered It: I have no idea when I first heard of this movieI think it was  when I first became a fan of Quentin Tarantino back in high school (when else does one become a Tarantino fan?).  I'd heard that he wrote the screenplay for "some movie" called, True Romance but had no idea what it was about.

My Memorable Moment: The conversations that Clarence (Christian Slater) has with an apparition of Elvis Presley.  We don’t know if these are daydreams or hallucinations, but they complete the character.  Of course Clarence would be the kind of guy who stands around the bathroom taking advice from The King. 

Who Should Embrace It: Little known fact about me: My favorite movie genre is neo-noir*, those quirky, violent movies from the 1990’s that included Pulp Fiction, The Big Labowski, The Usual Suspects and Fargo.  Basically, the movies Tarantino and the Coen Brothers were coming out with when I was in middle school.  They featured a wide cast of larger-than-life characters, mythological and pop culture themes and humor that made you feel like a bad person.  Taking that into consideration, I don’t know why it took me so long to watch True Romance (thank you Lauren for giving me the push). 

So the short answer to who should embrace it: If you're a fan of any of the movies listed above check this one out.  It'll probably be your cup of tea.

Even if you're not a fan of Pulp Fiction don't write off True Romance entirely.  The movie is more than just another entry into a '90s sub-genre.  Overall, it's a very well made film.  The two leads have spot-on chemistry (something that has become increasingly rare in Hollywood) and you believe how much the characters mean to each other.  All of the actors are perfectly cast. The writing is crisp, hilarious and fun.

One caution I would give is that the violence is brutal.  Yes of course you're going to get an epic gun battle in a Tony Scott movie but there is one scene halfway through the film that some viewers might want to fast forward through.  It does push the story along, but I can see how some might find the brutality drawn out and just unpleasant.

There are a few moments when the tone can be a little uneven, but for the most part I had a blast watching this gem from my favorite movie genre.  Looking back, I probably should have bought this one all those times I spotted it in the $2.99 bin in Target.

*This list is a little loose in it's definition of "neo-noir" but I think it still gives some great examples.    

No comments:

Post a Comment