Volume 95, Issue 74

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Search the Archives:

Tips for searching

Campus and Culture
Submit Letter
Contact Us
About the Gazette


Winnipeg's Weakerthans wanna be your Valentine

Martina likes to get hands-on

Exaggerating extremes
Body fails to float in life's wake

Outside the Box

Cope debuts on top

Porn o' Plenty

Outside the Box

True Romance
Patricia Arquette, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater
Directed By: Tony Scott

By Brent Carpenter
Gazette Staff

This Valentine's Day, you need not venture to your local multiplex to enjoy a good romantic film.

With ticket prices increasing by the day and the current selection of lovey-dovey crap festering away on screens, your best bet is to make a quick trip to your friendly neighbourhood video store and give True Romance a shot.

True Romance is your classic tale of boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy kills girl's pimp, boy and girl become unwitting keepers of suitcase filled with cocaine.

That's just the beginning.

The movie features a slew of recognizable faces, along with a fast-paced and stylish mix of genres, ensuring there's something for everyone.

Director Tony Scott (Top Gun, Days of Thunder) is no stranger to all-out action and here he stays true to his roots while at the same time creating the most character-driven film of his career.

Christian Slater is Clarence, a twenty-something comic store clerk who lives alone, drives a purple Cadillac and spends every birthday watching classic kung-fu movies at the local cinema. He drifts through life aimlessly and is content in his peaceful, simple existence.

Hoping for nothing more than a nice leading lady, Clarence finds his wish one day in the form of Alabama (Patricia Arquette), a sweet stranger who shares his interests.

Oh yeah, she's also a callgirl.

Playing by his own rules, Clarence listens only to the advice of Elvis (Val Kilmer), his hunka-hunka burnin' conscience who happens to have a dark side Alabama can't help falling in love with.

Sparks fly and Clarence and Alabama run off to Vegas to get hitched.

Eventually, an encounter with a dreadlocked, abusive pimp named Drexl (Gary Oldman) leaves Alabama out of work and Clarence with about $400,000 in cocaine belonging to the local Sicilian mob.

And so it begins.

True Romance works for a variety of reasons.

First, it never preaches or takes itself too seriously, allowing for some classic scenes of comic relief that come as a nice interlude between the high-paced action of the story.

In addition, the film contains more big-name talent than a Rat Pack remake. Slater and Arquette do their job pushing the story forward, but the real treat is the supporting cast.

Aside from Kilmer and Oldman, recognizable faces include Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Michael Rappaport, Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, and James Gandolfini.

The real star of the movie, however, is the screenplay by Quentin Tarantino. Putting his own twisted spin on the theme of chasing the American dream, Tarantino's dialogue is fast, witty and contains enough inside jabs at Hollywood to keep the audience giggling for hours.

For instance, there is a scene between Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken that relies solely on the strength of dialogue and the actors who deliver it.

If you're in the mood for political correctness or a fluffy love story, then skip this movie altogether. But, if you want laughter, action, nudity pretty much all things Tarantino then True Romance is the movie for you.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2002