Starring: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, James Gandolfini, Michael Rapaport
Directed by: Tony Scott
Written By: Quentin Tarantino
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 2 hr
For all intents and purposes, True romance shouldn’t work on any level. A call girl, Alabama (Patricia Arquette) falls in love her client. The client, Clarence (Christian Slater) then attacks her pimp, played with glorious zest by Gary Oldman, and accidental steals a suitcase full of drugs. The story then moves to include Clarence’s father and ex-police officer, Clifford, played surprising straight by the great Dennis Hopper. The drugs then attract the attention of the mob led by Vincenzo (Christopher Walken). With all that going on, we head out west to Hollywood, where the suitcase of drugs brings together a big Hollywood producer, the local police, the feds and everybody I already mentioned – all to a single hotel room! And everyone is packing! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the hilarious turn by Brat Pitt as Floyd. Dick Ritchie’s (Michael Rapaport) permanently stoned room-mate. Oh oh, and Val Kilmer (though you never actually see his face) plays a mystical Elvis mentor to Clarence!
The romance shouldn’t feel real. But it does. The story should feel contrived. But it doesn’t. It is however, very cool. As Alabama tells Clarence near the end of the film ‘You’re so cool.’ This film is as slick as Elvis in his heyday. It even gyrates at a kingly pace to a superb soundtrack. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette make a great Bonnie and Clyde style couple, and they are supported by the best! Every single scene with Brat Pitt is pure magic. James Gandolfini’s turn as a mob enforcer/hit-man is superb. Gary Oldman’s dread-locked pimp Drexl is both shocking and amazing. It all comes together thanks to Quentin Tarantino’s unrestrained story and script, which turns out to be a perfect match for Tony Scott’s rock-a-roll style direction.
If you’ve enjoyed other movies written by Tarantino you’ll probably find this entertaining too. It hops about a bit, and it’s very violent at times. The plot is pretty simple and easy to follow too. I would say if you are sold on the opening act, and believe in the romance between Clarence and Alabama. You’ll be very happy you watched this film.
The film looks great. Kind-a-has a warm sunset glow to it. If your local theater were screening this certainly try to see this on the big screen. At home a HD viewing is recommended.
Best moment for me: << spoiler! >>
The absolute best scene in the movie for me is the conversation between Vincenzo and Clifford. Clifford knows who he’s dealing with, and figures his time is up. Vincenzo has just finished talking about how Sicilians are great liars. So Clifford educates Vincenzo on some Sicilian history. The dialog has some colorful language so I’ll let you explore that on your own. But trust me, it’s priceless!