Like the next film on this list The Shawshank Redemption, True Romance is just one of those films you have to see. Whilst I had to be browbeaten into watching Shawshank (I hate the idea of just being one of the crowd, and everybody was just raving about the film at the time, so just to be contrary - I avoided it at every turn until several years later a friend whose opinion I trusted told me I 'just had to watch it'). True Romance I discovered (or my now wife did) quite randomly as it was her pick for something we should go and see one early autumn evening. I hadn't seen Reservoir Dogs - which had come out the year before - at that point, but knew of it and of the violence (I also hate the idea of violence just the for the sake of it, especially in film - which is why I can't stand the slasher genre) in the film so was a bit sceptical about (my then girlfriend) picking this film. I really didn't think she would enjoy it. I didn't think I would enjoy it!
It turns out that we both absolutely loved this modern day take on Bonnie and Clyde and it's still one of my favourite films to this day and in my opinion one of Tony Scott's best. Though it's not strictly a Tarantino film (he only wrote the original script), it has, what would become, Tarantino's style stamped all over it and that's mainly because Tarantino's script remained largely unchanged. Tony Scott (thank god) changed the ending of Tarantino's script (one of only two changes) and allowed both Christian Slater's Clarence and Patricia Arquette's Alabama to survive to tell the story. If he hadn't changed the ending, I wonder if the film would be so high on a lot of people's favourite film lists.
There are so many acting giants (or acting giants in the waiting) in this film it beggars belief. Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, James Gandolfini, Samuel L Jackson, Tom Sizemore, Michael Rapaport, Saul Rubinek - all delivering powerhouse performances. That Slater and Arquette manage to hold their own in amongst all of that, is impressive enough on its own, but their characters remain the heart of a film (completely and hopelessly devoted to each other), where all of the other characters (excluding Dennis Hopper's Clifford - who makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect his son and Brad Pitt's stoned Floyd, who let's face it has no idea what year it is never mind anything else) show themselves as either just greedy, profoundly stupid or so high on their own ego's that the bigger picture eludes them.
There are many stand out scenes and performances in this film, but the one that get's mentioned most is probably Walken and Hopper's 'Sicillian Speech' scene, which is pure Tarantino, much like Sam L. Jackson's 'Ezekiel 25:17' in Pulp Fiction or 'The Tipping Scene' in Reservoir Dogs or one of the best 'The Superman monologue' scene from Kill Bill. The great thing about these scenes that Tarantino weaves into his movies is that you never know how much of it is true, or how much is him taking liberties with certain facts. They all have one characteristic though, they make truly excellent cinema.
This film was a financial flop at the time, but has since gone on to become a cult classic. A must watch in my opinion.