True Romance

Directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino, True Romance follows comic-book geek Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) as he meets and falls for an affable prostitute named Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) – with the movie subsequently detailing the pair’s ongoing efforts at selling the cocaine they stole from Alabama’s pimp (Gary Oldman’s Drexl Spivey). There’s little doubt that True Romance gets off to an impressively captivating start, as Scott kicks the proceedings off with the irresistible meet-cute that ensues between Clarence and Alabama – with the palpable chemistry between the two actors effectively heightening the movie’s compulsively watchable atmosphere. (It doesn’t hurt, either, that Scott has peppered the film’s supporting cast with a dense roster of familiar faces, with folks as varied as James Gandolfini, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, and Brad Pitt appearing in key supporting roles.) The film’s palpably overlong running time is, as a result, not quite as problematic as one might’ve feared, as Scott effectively peppers the proceedings with a number of almost indelible moments and sequences (including Hopper’s remarkably engrossing encounter with Walken’s vicious gangster). By the time the unabashedly violent and over-the-top finale rolls around, True Romance has confirmed its place as a pulpy good time that holds up remarkably well two decades after its theatrical release – with the idealized yet heartfelt conclusion only perpetuating the movie’s memorable feel.

***1/2 out of ****

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