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You Kill Me
UKScreen Rating:

You Kill Me – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Frank (Kingsley) is a hitman for the Polish mafia in New York. They’re worried that they’re falling behind the Irish, because he keeps messing up – falling asleep on the job and missing his targets.
He’s an alcoholic and the booze is getting the better of him.
His boss (Hall) sends him to San Francisco to join an Alcoholics Anonymous programme and pay his way with a temporary job at a funeral home, watched over by the gang’s Mr Fixit, Dave (Pullman).
At his first AA meeting, Frank’s rather dismissive of his fellow alcoholics – including his gay sponsor, Tom (Wilson).
But the hardman softens up when the sassy Laurel (Leoni) arrives at the funeral home to deliver the shoes for her father to be buried in. Their eyes meet over the dead body and…well…you can guess what happens next.
Laurel’s support helps Frank shake his addiction, and not wanting to lose her, he has to come up with the best way he can to tell his new girlfriend what he does for a living.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

This is that odd combination of a film that does what it does pretty well, but just doesn’t do very much.
And what it does do isn’t particularly original.
Gangsters struggling with their jobs have been seen in the likes of the Sopranos and Analyse This.
Hitmen having to tell their lovers about their jobs have been seen in films like Grosse Point Blank.
Support groups have been parodied in Fight Club.
We’ve even seen Sir Ben Kingsley doing a gangster before, in his Oscar-nominated role in Sexy Beast.
But the lack of originality doesn’t take away from a large number of laugh-out-loud moments – much of it reliant on Kingsley’s adept and deadpan handling of the almost-surreal fish-out-of-water elements of his character.
Frank’s relationship with Laurel isn’t entirely convincing – a throwaway gag near the start doesn’t excuse the fact that she’s fallen for someone old enough to be her father – OK, so that happens, but there’s usually an element of gold-digging involved.
And everyone seems to be unusually accepting of his choice of career – for someone who’s ultimately pretty open about the nature of his job, there’s no comeback – and I’m not entirely sure that AA membership is meant to protect the identity of serial killers…
If you step into this darkly quaint fantasy world, this is an oddly warm and uncomfortably funny romantic comedy about someone who just happens to kill for a living – but from outside the box, it’s a rather empty, unbelievable, unsubstantial and derivative tall tale.

opens nationwide 7th December 2007

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