Is True Romance the Best Love Film Ever Made?
I’m not an overly romantic person, and when Valentine’s rolls around I struggle with the pink fluff and candy hearts. My other half and I prefer a lavish and indulgent home cooked meal, – not so much lavish as “I tried really, really hard…” – and a chilled bottle of champagne (and gorgeous flowers!)
This year, I chose the film we watched with dessert (this Oreo cheesecake, *drool* give it a try!) and I chose True Romance (1993).
My other half was pleased, as he hadn’t seen it for a while, but miffed. I had veto’d his suggestion of going to the cinema to see Spotlight. That was a very inappropriate Valentine’s evening activity.
And yes, True Romance was much, much more appropriate.
From an exceptionally brilliant cast to a breath-taking love story, from pimps to murder – this film is perfection.
The script was written by my favourite, but not everyone’s cup of tea, Quentin Tarantino, but directed by Tony Scott (Ridley’s brother who sadly took his own life a few years ago). True Romance has the tell tale signs of Tarantino: meaningful dialogue, engaging characters, exaggerated violence, and an unbelievable cast. But Scott, director of Top Gun and Man on Fire, brings his own style to the film, making clear this is no Tarantino film, even changing the ending to make it fit his impression of the film.
Scott wanted to direct two scripts written by Tarantino: True Romance and Reservoir Dogs. He was forced to choose just one, and although I can’t help but wonder what Scott would have done with Reservoir Dogs, I think he made the right choice.
The love story is a simple one: Boy meets Girl. Girl is a prostitute. Boy murders girl’s pimp and accidently lands a big suitcase full of drugs. Boy must sell drugs to run away with girl.
Jeez, kids these days!
Perhaps not the most conventional romance story. This film features my favourite cast from any film, ever. An unrecognisable Gary Oldman as a pimp, Brad Pitt as a stoner, Samuel L Jackson as a drug dealer, a menacing James Galdolfini securing his role as Tony Soprano, and a nightmare-inducing Christopher Walken as “the Antichrist”, a Sicilian gang boss who I belief to be the most terrifying character ever created.
Not convinced? Val Kilmer plays Elvis. I’m serious. And of course the happy couple themselves: Patricia Arquette as the charismatic Alabama, and Christian Slater as the cute boy-next-door-starting-to-lose-his-mind, Clarence.
True Romance isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster and it’s not a typical romance film, but it is a 23-year-old love story that I’ll still be watching in another 23 years.