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Frat Pack Tribute Movie Review: You Kill Me

Review by Jenny Spaulding

You Kill Me is the latest film from director John Dahl (The Last Seduction, Rounders). The film is a romantic comedy with a criminal twist, and features Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni, and Luke Wilson. I enjoyed the movie, but it wasn't quite as funny as I expected it might be based on the trailer. Then again, it's that odd mix of dead pan/black humor that doesn't always make me bust a gut laughing.

In the film, Ben Kinglsey plays alcoholic hit man Frank Falenczyk. Frank botches a job and is confronted by the boss of the Polish mob, Roman Krzeminski (Philip Baker Hall), who sends Frank to San Francisco to dry out and join Alcoholics Anonymous. Roman tells him that he needs to come back sober or to not come back at all.

Arriving in San Francisco, Frank attends AA and meets Tom (Luke Wilson) who becomes his sponsor. Luke's role isn't all that big, but he does well with it. I guess because it's San Fran, his character is a (stereotype) gay toll booth collector.

Frank gets a part time job working at a funeral home which is particularly amusing to me since my family runs a funeral home; although I wonder the likelihood that any old dude off the street can work in the prep room with no prior training. During a funeral he meets Laurel Pearson (Tea Leoni) and begins a romance with her.

Kingsley was terrific and I think Leoni's comic timing has long been underappreciated. The movie slowly builds to a very funny and satisfying ending. Like I said initially, it wasn't quite as funny as I expected, but setting that aside, it's an entertaining movie and pretty original. It's one of those that the more I think about it the more it's growing on me. It may not be for everyone, but if you get the chance, I think it's worth seeing!

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