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TRUE ROMANCE (1993)


Directed by Tony Scott (RIP)

-possible spoilers ahead!

Love this violent love story!!!

Plot:

Clarence  works in a comic store and loves Elvis and Kung Fu movies.

On his birthday he meets Alabama, a hooker sent by his boss as a birthday gift.

She only reveals herself as a hooker after the fact, but she already fell in love with him.

He feels pretty much the same and wants to help her get away from her abusive pimp Drexl.

This is when everything goes wrong and they find themselves hunted by gangsters and police.

 

Ok, after the apparent suicide of Tony Scott I couldn`t help but think of his movies, of course. This led me to write a review about one of his greatest films. There are thousands of movies I could write about and sometimes it needs a tragic thing like this to finally take on a certain film. My choice was this-TRUE ROMANCE.

I am not sure if I have seen this in the cinema, I am getting old…I really don`t remember if..

But I do remember the movie, very much so. It`s one of my absolute faves and at one point, had an oversized, awesome poster of the film on my wall. Stupid me sold it at one point. This kinda oversized posters are hard to come by and now I don`t have it anymore..well. Just one of a lot I don`t have anymore. Keep your shit, is all I´m going to say. Don`t sell off your collection of movie-related stuff, unless there is no other option anymore. You will regret it at some point.

True Romance is such a beast , I`m not sure if I will find the right words for it, but I will try:

First of all-the cast is incredible! Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Chris Walken, Brad Pitt,Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, James Gandolfini and more.

There are very few movies that could rival that kind of a cast. Then, the screenplay is from Quentin Tarantino, although it was a bit rewritten, but the core is Tarantino, and I think it shows. There are things in there that scream Tarantino from a mile away.

Like the Streetfighter triple feature at the cinema. It also is full of extremely quoteable lines.

I don`t know if there was improvised dialogue, but some exchanges come across so natural and real, especially the speech by Patricia Arquette on the roof. It is so heartbreakingly romantic, at least to me. And she is cute in this, and sexy. Maybe her best performance ever.

Slater is also on top of his game, pretty much everybody gives noteworthy performances, I can`t think of anybody in this not leaving an impression. Saul Rubinek, Michael Rapaport and Bronson Pinchot, all characters felt pitch-perfect. The story is over the top and full of action, romance and tragedy.  Gary Oldman as Drexl, holy shit, what a performance. Same goes for Chris Walken as Vincenzo Coccotti and yeah, pretty much all of them.

Although running  two full hrs, it never drags, Until the end I was sitting on the edge of my seat. I read a few things about plot holes n such, the note on the fridge etc.

But if you want, that can be explained away, I guess. At the time, it never bothered me.

The violence is pretty extreme, to me it always felt right. As much as most of them overact their roles, the violence followed suit and made the high stakes of it clear and increased the tension. After all, you want the crazy in love couple to get away, right?

When Clarence gets shot and appears dead, I was really bummed..until he got back up!

I was very happy with the happy end after all they went through. This film to me is like a good friend, something I can identify with on a personal level. It feels like a weird, violent dream, complete with a love story…something I think I could`ve dreamed up in one of my epic dreams I tend to have sometimes since I was a young teenager. It is the kind of romance that clicks with me, situations so outrageous and weird. Like a violent fairy tale with happy end. It captures love and the shortsight of youg adults, who tend to think of themselves as immortal, at least they don`t really think about it. And when they do, they brush it aside with a “so be it then!” Does that make sense? Hope so.

I`m not good at explaining the visual aspects of a film, at least not the technical parts…It is beautifully shot, as everything by Scott, memorable scenes and places. What I remember best is the scenes at Drexl`s place. Just what you expect a pimp dungeon to look like, or not?

The score and the soundtrack are also memorable. Especially “I want your Body” by Nymphomania and the Hans Zimmer piece “You`re so cool” are always playing in my head when I think of this film. “You`re so cool” is a cover version of Carl Orff´s “Gassenhauer”, a piece I have heard in variations in a lot of films. Just recently in the movie “LUNAR COP”.

All in all, it`s a must-see, if you haven`t. If so, please close that hole in your cineaste education. There are a hundred reasons to see it, and I don`t know anybody who didn`t like it.

Tony, thanks for this wonderful film. YOU`RE SO COOL!!!!

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2 responses

  1. Great movie, recently rewatched this myself for the first time in about 15 years and it holds up so well, amazing to think it’s nearly 20 years old now!

    August 23, 2012 at 7:05 AM

  2. Really great review buddy!
    This is my all time favorite Tony Scott film and I never get tired of it. It has an energy that just can’t be beat. A great look, feel and most importantly, a great cast. I love this film!

    September 20, 2012 at 12:23 AM

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