When most people think of "great love stories", the name Quentin Taratino doesn't really come to mind. That's only because most people have never heard of this mini-masterpiece. With True Romance director Tony Scott and screenwriter Tarantino have basically created the perfect date movie: an action film that contains enough sweetness and romance to keep the ladies satisfied and a romantic comedy with more than enough shooting and one-liners to keep the dudes from dying of boredom.
by Forest Taylor
The film follows Clarence Worley, a comic book store clerk and Elvis enthusiast as he spends his birthday checking out a Sonny Chiba triple feature. During the movie he meets a spirited young woman named Alabama Whitman and the two hit it off due to their shared love of kung-fu movies and pie. After listening to Clanrence's description of a Nick Fury comic, Alabama is so overcome with emotion that the two go back to his place for some passionate, Showtime channel-esque sex. However, things are not all as they seem. The next day, Alabama confesses that she is actually a prostitute hired by Clarence's boss to show him a good time for his birthday (awesome boss, by the way). But something happened that night and Alabama admits that she has fallen in love with him. Clarence confesses that he loves her too and the two decide to forget the past and get married that very day. Clarence decides that he doesn't want to just forget the past, he wants to eliminate it entirely. That night, he goes to the old place where Alabama was working, kills her pimp and steals a bag which he thinks is full of her clothes. It turns out the bag is actually full with a half a million dollars worth of coke. The couple sees this as their golden ticket and head to Los Angeles to sell the coke to some rich Hollywood types. However, unbeknownst to them, the mob is on their tail looking for their stolen drugs.
Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette play the star-crossed lovers and their modern day fairy tale romance is what holds the film together. But as anyone who has seen the movie can attest, the supporting cast is what really shines in this film. This movie has more famous cameos than a '60s variety show and they all do an excellent job. Val Kilmer is very memorable as Elvis (don't ask), Gary Oldman as usual plays a terrific villain as a ebonics-spouting dreadlocked pimp, Brad Pitt steals every scene he's in as a stoner roommate and even a blink-and-you'll-miss-him cameo by Samuel L. Jackson has some memorable lines. But the real show-stopper is the one scene with Christopher Walken. His interactions with Dennis Hopper are scary/funny in a way that only a scene with Dennis Hopper and Christipher Walken can be.
I'm including this film in my old "Action Movies for Chicks" section, but really it's more of a romantic comedy for guys. What is a romantic comedy if not comfort food for women? Introduce an easily relatable female protagonist, give her some easily relatable problems and then introduce a "perfect man" who will take her away from all her troubles and the two can live happily ever after. True Romance is the same way: Clarence is instantly relatable: he's cool but also kind of awkward and more than a little geeky (I mean, he works in a comic book store for fuck's sake), then he meets an awesome chick who loves him exactly how he is, and the two find some way to beat the system and live their lives with more money than they could ever spend. Looking at it that way, it really is no different from "Love, Actually" except in the process a few dozen people are gunned down in ways that would make Sam Peckinpah applaude.
Happy Valentine's Day everybody!
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