24 March 2006 | ccthemovieman-1
Strange-But-True Characters In Dark Comedy
A surprise hit....at least with me. I found this dark comedy hilarious in spots and so-so in others, but overall a funny movie. With comedy that's what happens anyway: some jokes connect; others don't. Most are pretty good in here but beware: some of the jokes are in poor taste, but that's a dark comedy for you. Also, some Catholics might be offended because the film takes some shots at them, or at least people who go overboard in rationalizing their sins, as Kevin Kline does in here.
There is an odd assortment of actors in here and they all contribute to the fun: Kline, Tracey Ullman, William Hurt, River Phoenix, Keannu Reeves, Joan Plowright and James Gammon.
Supposedly, this film was based on a real-life happening, which makes it all the more interesting and lending credence to the saying that "truth is stranger than fiction."
Plowright almost steals the show from Kline and Ullman, the husband-and-wife team who have problems because of Kline's persistent cheating on her. Plowright in Ullman's mother and has some of the best lines in the film as mother and daughter plot how to kill the immoral Kline.
Phoenis plays a young New Age devotee and Hurt and Reeves are funny as two totally stoned-out hit men. Hurt is particularly good.
This movie is so-so to start until Ullman finds her husband cheating. Then, after a heart-wrenching minute or so, she and her mother plot to kill the unfaithful spouse. The comedy then goes full out as they hire these really goofy hit men and things don't go smoothly. The ending is quite different and quite touching with a very good message....which is all I will say in case you haven't seen this.