true romance

“You want to take me to a Kung-Fu movie?”
Three Kung-Fu movies.”

Let me begin by saying that True Romance is one of my favourite films, so I am going to be hideously biased in this review. It was the first film I watched with my boyfriend. You could say it’s “our movie”. A fact you need to know to begin with is that True Romance is not a comedy; yes, it has a certain sense of dark humour about it, but it isn’t a laugh out loud kind of film. It also isn’t what you’d expect from the title, there’s a lot more blood and death than is implied by those two little words.

The casting of True Romance is still perfect, and as a film it has aged beautifully. Released in 1993, I still can’t help but think “you’re so cool” over and over again. Tarantino is so overly constructed that it seems almost, just almost, effortless. It is quotable to the nth degree, with classic, almost catchphrase type lines played off by all characters continuously.

Clarence’s (Christian Slater) imaginary ‘King’ mentor and borderline obsession with Elvis punctuates the film, often driving the intensity of Clarence’s actions of devotion towards Alabama (Patricia Arquette). The absurdity of Clarence’s decisions make him endearing and just a little bit unhinged, making him the perfect match for the very unstable Alabama.

True Romance is a film about crazy, unconditional love. And in a room of almost entirely loved up couples, it was a (mostly) beautiful experience. Small cinemas are supposed to be intimate, it’s bigger and better than your TV, but you’re not sharing your moment with 150 other people.

It has everything a Friday night film should have; humour, love, sex, a wardrobe to stop hearts, guns, killing, a classic cops versus personal security versus the mob shoot-em-up scene, what more could you want!? Netflix is great and all, but nothing really beats watching a Tarantino on the big scene. It’s beautifully shot, and it deserves to be watched in high definition.

Seeing a cult classic film in a small cinema is a wonderful experience – until there is a select few people who clearly misconstrue the meaning behind certain moments. In 2015, laughing out loud, and not just out loud, but practically a throw yourself out of your seat outburst, at a homophobic slur is simply unacceptable. It’s not that the moment wasn’t placed well in the film, the lines fit with their character perfectly, but it is not funny. True Romance was Tarantino’s first screenplay, and his writing is impeccable regardless of his lack of experience.

Treat yourself and your loved one to a date night, go see True Romance at the BFI while you still can (just do everyone a favour and keep your inappropriate laughter contained).

“I gotta hand it to you Clarence.”

“I was cool?”

“Naw man you were cooler than cool.”


5 / 5


Dir: Tony Scott

Scr: Quentin Tarantino 

Starring: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman, Val Kilmer, Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore, Michael Rapaport, Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, Bronson Pinchot, Saul Rubinek

Prd: Gary Barber, Samuel Hadida, Steve Perry, Bill Unger

DOP: Jeffrey L. Kimball

Music: Hans Zimmer

Country: USA

Year: 1993

Run time: 120 mins


True Romance is being screened as part of the BFI’s ‘Love’ Season