True Romance Review

True Romance

I’d truly had forgotten how good True Romance is.

Starting out in the derelict moodiness of motor city Detroit, Clarence Worley works in a comic book shop, which already feels so 90’s.

He meets and falls in love with prostitute Alabama at a cinema, and the pair go on the run to Hollywood with a suitcase full of stolen mob cocaine and a shared dream of a better life.

Their journey unfolds through a mass of screaming bullets and sharp dialogue and doesn’t stop until, as one of the more quotable lines goes, ‘everybody is dead’.

Sandwiched in between Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Natural Born Killers, the Quentin Tarrantino penned True Romance was massively overlooked when released and didn’t even recoup its $13 million budget.

Directed by the late Tony Scott, fresh from making the fucking awful Days of Thunder, I can imagine this lesser known Scott was expected to piss sugar on Tarrantino’s script of violence and drugs and make something more mainstream.

But he didn’t. Instead he assembled a staggering supporting cast of established and up and coming actors that included Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini and Chris Penn.

If there was an award for the number of star cameos made in a film, True Romance would probably win it.

Knowing their screen time is limited, they all jostle for position to make their performances the most memorable. Gary Oldman’s pimp Drexl Spivey is only on screen for a few minutes, but he’s so mesmerising that I’ve found myself watching his scenes on Youtube since.

True Romance

Dennis Hopper plays Clarence’s ex-drunk, ex-cop Dad Clarence, delivers one of True Romance’s most memorable lines opposite Christopher Walken’s mob boss Don Coccotti. These two act out an integration scene that will inspire you to show your teeth if you ever feel like a cornered terrier.

Which i often do.

Watching True Romance again reminded me of how brilliant Tarrantino’s script was, portraying the rawness of love in its infancy without falling into cliché, whilst delivering an action packed story that’s both hilarious and tragic.

Tim Green

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Dates ‘n stuff

November 2015