You Kill Me (2007)

Dir. John Dahl
Starring: Sir Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni, Luke Wilson, Bill Pullman, Dennis Farina, etc.

This is a hard call. Almost all the idiots have a chance of liking this (even really liking this), but many of you could just think this was so-so, too. If I had to guess, I’d choose Chris, Kevin, and Mitchell with liking this. For everyone else it’s a bigger gamble. Read the next section if any of you want to take the risk.

Good cast and good director (Red Rock West and The Last Seduction), plus I heard some positive comments about the film. And after seeing the film, I believe the script would interest these actors. This is a black comedy, crime film that involves an Polish mob family sending their alcoholic hitmen (Kingsley) to San Francisco to clean himself. There, Bill Pullman’s character makes sure he attends AA meetings and gets him a job at a mortuary (a job suited for him since he doesn’t have a problem with dead people). Through that process he makes friends with (Wilson) and falls in love with Leoni. As he’s sobering up, his family gets into trouble with a rival gang, and must return to help them out. Don’t see this for the action or the crime elements. The film is primarily a comedy.

The script is solid and probably the strongest part of the film. I could see understand why these actors worked in this film. On the other hand, I wonder if the other actors—particularly for the Kingsley and Leoni roles—would have made the film a lot better. First of all, I had difficulty buying Leoni’s attraction to Kingsley’s character. Do film studios think Leoni is homely and that audiences wouldn’t have trouble believing that someone with her looks would go for someone who looks like Kingsley? (This is the second film I’ve seen where this happened with Leoni. The first was Ghost Town, which paired Leoni with Ricky Gervais.) Kingsley and Leoni also didn’t have the instant chemistry to make the attraction believable either. Leoni’s comedic chops are solid, but really her character shouldn’t be as beautiful as Leoni. Or the filmmakers have to make adjustments—i.e. get a better looking actor or an actor with better chemistry than Kingsley; creating character traits that make us believe Kingsley is one of the few guys Leoni could snag. The fact that I didn’t buy their relationship was a big flaw for me. I think another actor could have pulled off the role better—or at least I’d like to see someone else in those roles.

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