True Romance

Rated: R

        True Romance is one of Quentin Tarantino’s first feature films, but yet it’s one not that many people have heard of. I believe the problem here is that it was sandwiched between two of Tarantino’s more popular cult classics: Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Like his other movies, especially the earlier ones, this one has a stellar all-star cast and an action packed storyline. It has all of the ingredients of a cult classic and I feel it’s no less deserving of that title, despite the fact that it’s lesser known.
True Romance follows the story of Clarence Worley and Alabama. Alone for yet another birthday Clarence Worley’s work friends hire an escort to bump into him at the movie theater and take him home for the evening. All goes according to plan, Clarence and Alabama spend a wonderful evening together. But after such a wonderful night Alabama feels guilty about the setup and comes clean to Clarence, confessing that things went so well that she’s falling in love with him. Clarence then surprises her by professing that he’s in love with her as well. After these touching opening scenes we’re then taken on a whirlwind ride that includes sex, drugs, rock and roll and more. This movie proves that no matter how quickly it happens, some people will do anything for love…or at least True Romance.
        Although the list of big names in this movie is staggering, there are a few specific performances that are especially worth noting. While Brad Pitt had been in movies for a while leading up to his role in
True Romance, he had just started playing the hunky leading roles we’re all used to at this point. That’s why it’s so funny to me that he plays the loser-stoner-roommate in this movie. It was a fairly small role, but added a great comedic factor! Dennis Hopper plays Clifford Worley, Clarence’s father. This was another pretty small role, yet he gives a speech about why Sicilian’s have black hair that, although I’m not sure is entirely true, resonates long after the movie is over. The last performance I’ll mention in detail is that of Gary Oldman. He’s been long known for the seriousness he brings to his roles. He’s won numerous awards and been nominated several times for an Oscar. This is not one of those roles. In True Romance he plays Drexl Spivey, a drug dealer who has a Jamaican feel to his look and thinks he’s black. He’s funny and gross and ruthless all at the same time. I couldn’t see him agreeing to play this one again!
        Some people have designated this movie a kind of modern day
Romeo and Juliet. While I don’t disagree that it has that sort of undertone, I don’t think it’s fully deserving of that title. There are no feuding families here and there’s not really anyone trying to keep Clarence and Alabama apart. What there is, is plenty of Tarantino’s trademark cool-headed characters and overdone violence. Even for someone as used to Hollywood violence as I am, I have to admit that there is one scene I, to this day, have trouble watching, and I’ve seen this movie many times. 
True Romance is the type of movie you’ll either love, or hate. I don’t think there will be any in-between here. It’s fast paced and action packed, yet oddly touching. There’s not a slow or boring part throughout the movie and your eyes will be glued to the screen as you get lost in the world of Clarence and Alabama.  And while you don’t need to be a Tarantino fan to appreciate it, it does help.

True Romance is rated R and stars Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt, Bronson Pinchot, Gary Oldman, James Gandolfini , Samuel L. Jackson and Val Kilmer. True Romance is available now on Blu Ray and DVD.