the tagline: stealing, cheating, killing. who said romance is dead?
let me tell the story of true romance, true romance style.
clarence worley (christian slater, never better) is a hardcore elvis and kung-fu fan. he works in heroes for sale, where he gets to read comics and play music all day long; and that’s practically every comic and music geek dream. traditionally, he goes to see movies on his birthday, and for this year, he sees three sonny chiba kung-fu movies. there he meets alabama and it is love at first sight.
alabama whitman (patricia arquette) is the disarmingly cute and clumsy call girl paid by clarence’s boss to meet then sex-starved clarence. however, after spending one night together and tallying their compatibilities — elvis, janis, kung-fu, and getting a piece of pie after a movie, alabama becomes mrs. alabama worley.
now all seems candy-sweet for the newlyweds except that clarence feels haunted knowing everyday that alabama’s pimp, drexl, (the superb gary oldman) is getting away slapping and kicking around the girls who work for him, although alabama insists that drexl treated him pretty decent. after a ghostly visit from “the king” elvis, clarence decides to kill him.
what follows is the heated exchange between clarence and drexl, and it tells you that this movie is born from a quentin tarantino script. quentin tarantino writes no ordinary love stories. no roses and candlelight dinners. instead, quentin’s idea of romance are gunshots and cocaine and 234 fuck words.
the trouble comes into paradise when clarence takes drexl’s narcotics by mistake, thinking that the bag contains alabama’s clothes. he sets off, rather amateurishly, to sell the drugs, intending to spend his and alabama’s life spending the money. first, he pays his father, clifford worley (dennis hopper.. i cried for you, sir) a surprise visit and asks him to inquire from the police force (his father being a former cop) and determine if the police are after them and then quickly heads off to los angeles to sell his drugs through the help of his actor friend, dick.(michael rapaport) more hamburgers ordered, more giggles from the teasing alabama worley and more violence and bloodbath ensues as the gangsters find out the couple’s whereabouts. in the end, the two manage to stay alive and money in hand, escape the massacre scene and indeed spend their lives spending.
now i can discuss this movie heartily as ever until pigs fly but i choose two favorite scenes. the first, as i’ve already said, deals with clarence confronting drexl. (gary oldman, i still don’t understand why you have to do harry potter. you have too much talent for mainstream.)
the second, and this is much more poweful, involves don vincenzo (the brillian christopher walken, who according to my father held me when i was a baby) and clarence’s father, clifford (extremely outstanding performance from dennis hopper). clifford endures torture from the unforgiving sicilian don vincenzo who declares that sicilians are the heavyweight champions for detecting liars. after getting his palms cut,(with scotch flavor. imagine the pain) clifford remains resolute and unmoved into telling clarence’s location. perhaps resigning to his fate, he aggravates don vincenzo and tells the history of sicilians getting spawned by — and i have to use this word to describe the aggravation — niggers. how niggers changed the whole bloodline of sicilian people by banging sicilian women. and how don vincenzo’s heart pumps black blood and thrives on the black gene. the hair-raising instrumental background amplifies the mood. both actors are too well into character i’d be scared to meet don vincenzo on the streets and i want to give clifford worley a peachy kiss.
and lest we forget, this story is all about, well…romance. clarence and alabama are very much in love, and the onscreen chemistry between slater and arquette is spontaneous and believable. clarence kills for alabama, and alabama in her own torture scene earns our tender sentiment as she stands ready to die for clarence as well.
now show me a man who will kill for me without fear or trepidation and i will gladly let the rats gnaw at my flesh before i betray him. show me a man who loves me inasmuch as he desires me to shamelessly pull down my underclothes in a highway phone booth and i will acquiesce to two dozen children. in fact, show me one man with the same insatiable energy for movies, a man who appreciates the finer things in life like sugar and red lips, brings me to his family and friends and tells them, “is she a four-alarm fire or what?” and says that none of my fears are too silly, none of my actions are too clumsy, none of my conversations with flowers and trees and the nature overall too weird, and none of my interactions with the opposite sex way too friendly and i will, i swear to aphrodite, borrow alabama’s words and say, finally, “when it comes to relationships, if i’m with you, then i’m with you; and i don’t want anybody else.”