Today is Valentine’s Day and, to get in the mood, I was planning on finding some ridiculous romantic-comedy to review. I’ve been getting into the spirit on my Instagram so I might as well do the same here. My plan was to get home from work and watching something disgusting. Probably a Richard Curtis film or something. Instead, I had a dreadful day and really lost my romantic spirit. There’s nothing like your manager unnecessarily calling you a liar to really ruin your entire day. So, I decided I wanted to watch something a little less conventionally romantic this evening. As I was going through my film collection and found this beauty. It seemed to tick every box: romance, mindless violence, humour, Gary Oldman, Patricia Arquette’s boobs… it was all there. I don’t think I’ve ever really made a definitive list of my favourite films ever because it would be too long and ever-changing but, if I did one day, I’m sure this film would be on there somewhere. And I’ve never really talked about it on here before. I think it’s time.
True Romance is a film written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by the late Tony Scott. It stars Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette as two lovers who get dragged into a world of violence, drugs, and murder. Christian Slater plays Clarence, a geeky shop assistant who meets a beautiful girl at the cinema. It turns out she’s a call girl paid to sleep with Clarence for his birthday. But, against all the odds, the pair fall in love and get married. For their honeymoon, the pair kill a pimp, steal a bunch of cocaine, outrun mobsters, and get caught up in the middle of a gunfight. Well, it beats lying on a beach I guess.
True Romance is bit of a mess of a film. Everything happens so quickly and there is so much chaos happening. The characters lack depth and the central romance is so insane. But, really, none of that matters because this film is fucking brilliant. It has everything great about a Quentin Tarantino script without the potential self-indulgent aspects of Quentin Tarantino direction. Tony Scott lifts the verbal brilliance of Tarantino’s masterpiece with some classic action movie set-pieces. It’s a batshit crazy affair but it comes together brilliantly.
Something that is lifted by the mouth-watering supporting cast. Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, and James Gandolfini are all on great form in roles that only give them minutes of screen-time. Brad Pitt and Samuel L. Jackson, two massive Hollywood stars, are relegated to absolutely minor roles. It’s an incredible array of talent and both Slater and Arquette offer career bests. Every actor is perfectly cast in their parts and offer fantastic skill in a limited setting.
Basically, True Romance is perfectly imperfect. Strictly speaking, you could pull this film apart in seconds but, ultimately, you don’t want to. It’s so much fun and has so much energy. You just get pulled in. It knows how bad it is and it knows that it’s really bad taste. But it embraces it so you embrace it. That’s why this film is somewhere in my imaginary list. It never fails to entertain and it’s successfully got my out of my post-work funk. It’s got to be the perfect Valentine’s Day film.