True Romance

Film, Comedy
5 out of 5 stars
True Romance

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

From humble beginnings, this fast, freaky and extremely funny road movie scripted by Quentin Tarantino has become a modern classic

In 1993, Quentin Tarantino was cinema’s boy wonder. ‘Reservoir Dogs’ had smashed indie box-office records, ‘Pulp Fiction’ was in production and his early scripts were being snapped up by the studios – including a matching pair of ‘Badlands’-inspired lovers-on-the-run thrillers. Oliver Stone’s ‘Natural Born Killers’ was a sure thing: an Oscar-winning director, an ultra-hip cast, a script that smartly satirised reality TV and media madness. ‘True Romance’, on the other hand, looked like a dog: director Tony Scott had barely recovered from the debacle of ‘Days of Thunder’, Christian Slater was on the slide after a string of flops and leading lady Patricia Arquette was far less famous than her big sister Rosanna.

But hindsight is a beautiful thing. ‘Natural Born Killers’ is unwatchable now, a garish, tasteless, brick-in-the-face satire. Whereas ‘True Romance’ is nothing less than a modern classic: a rocket-fuel romance that rattles from Detroit to Hollywood as Slater’s comic-book geek and Arquette’s hooker with a heart steal a case of cocaine and hit the road. The script is close to flawless: from the big speeches (‘Hundreds of years ago, the Moors conquered Sicily…’) to a string of genius one-liners (‘You… you want me to suck his dick?’). It’s so funny you can forgive Tarantino’s sleazy strain of nerd-boy wish-fulfilment.

But it’s Scott’s direction that sets the whole thing on fire, lunging from heart-meltingly sweet to unbearably violent without breaking stride. And ‘True Romance’ contains more crunchy punch-ups, genius casting choices (let’s not forget stoner Brad Pitt) and moments of real, honest emotion than Tarantino’s entire post-‘Pulp’ output put together. Giddy and glorious.


Release details

120 mins

Cast and crew

Tony Scott
Quentin Tarantino
Patricia Arquette
Christopher Walken
Brad Pitt
Gary Oldman
Val Kilmer
Dennis Hopper
Christian Slater
Samuel L Jackson

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