True Romance: directed by who cares? and written by QUENTIN TARANTINO, Quentin Tarantino in the early nineties when he wasn’t an overblown hack just re-using all his old material. I know this is supposed to be a cooking blog, but I’m doing my yearly viewing of True Romance today because it came from Netflix the other day and I can’t help but write about it.
I love this movie. I think it’s really inventive and smart and who doesn’t love Christian Slater from 15 years ago? I have no idea what Christian is up to now, but back then he was hot shit. Pump Up the Volume? Heathers? Come on! One of the characters just said, “Ooooh that’s inventive. I have more taste in my penis.” Hilarious!
But during this viewing, I started thinking, why do I love Clarence and Alabama so much? Why do I root for them in this movie? They are murdering, white-trash, low-rent, drug dealers. I mean before he met Alabama he was a lonely, nerdy comic-book store clerk who didn’t have two cents to rub together and Alabama was a call girl from podunk Florida. As soon as they get together Clarence murders Alabama’s pimp, miraculously gets a suitcase full of cocaine, which he then takes to LA to sell to Hollywood actor-types. They get into a giant gun fight and end up being the only two left alive and they ride off into the sunset with a suitcase full of money and live happily ever after in Mexico.
It’s totally brilliant and ridiculous and I think the only reason that it works is because the title says it all. It’s about romance people. It’s about love. By all standard definitions, the two main characters are not good people, but you want them to succeed because they really and truly love each other and have amazing onscreen chemistry. And the end when they are happy on a beach in Cancun with their beautiful little boy is so gratifying because you know in real life that it probably would not have worked out like that at all. Plus the voiceovers at the beginning and end by Patricia Arquette are quite possibly the best voiceovers of all time. So really what it boils down to is this: why do I love True Romance when it is filled with all the seediest and most back-alley things in this world? Because even though those things make up the majority of the movie, they’re not what it’s about at all. Like I said, it’s about love….and good writing.