Grosse Pointe Blank Reviews
I was surprised how much they committed to the romantic comedy stuff in some sections of the film. In fact it was almost like the movie broke down into sections that alternated between genres. It worked OK, but I think there was more comedy in the final act when we really see these worlds collide. That's when I was laughing and cheering and having the most fun.
Minnie Driver might have been the biggest misstep in Grosse Pointe Blank for me. I was so distracted by her attempts to sound American, it was a struggle. Also I have some trouble figuring out what emotion she's trying to convey in certain scenes. I could understand the bigger scenes where she's very angry or happy, but I can't read her quieter moments.
The entire movie mostly doesn't go aggressively for comedy. It's trying for more subtle laughs and to build humor just from the situations. I expected a little more farce and was hoping to laugh out loud more, but that doesn't mean it was a bad movie or that I didn't like it. My favorite moments were the ones between Cusack and his therapist played by Alan Arkin. I'll gladly watch Grosse Pointe Blank again, and I expect I'll probably like it more now that I know the tone.
- Just watched this one again for the first time since it came out. It still holds up and as a smart, fun comedy. Cusack and Driver are excellent and Aykroyd is very funny. Give this one a try, and if you've already seen it, watch it again!
My initial capsule feelings:
This is possibly one of my favorite films, starring an actor I love opposite an actress I think is super-hot, especially in this era of her career, so what I really wanna know after a recent re-watch is: Where the hell is my special edition Blu-ray of this one?
It's a cute, fun movie that doesn't feel as dated as it could, given the time frame in which it was released, and I think most folks will enjoy this unless they insist on having weird hang-ups about a killer who finds easy redemption with the right girl.
But all the Tom & Jerry antics are growing old, and, after much contemplation, Martin hesitantly decides to go back to his hometown of Grosse Pointe, MI for his ten-year high school reunion. While there, he hopes to rekindle his romantic relationship with Debi (Minnie Driver), the girl he left behind (and stood up for prom), and start life anew. But making major life changes is no easy task for someone who kills for a living - so it's no surprise that Mr. Grocer and a pair of government agents (Hank Azaria and K. Todd Freeman) follow Martin to the small Michigan town planning for the worst.
One might expect "Grosse Pointe Blank" to be a severely dark comedy - what film dares to have their central character both be a gun-for-hire and a romantic lead? - but it is, peculiarly, tender and genially witty, would-be fizzy entertainment if not for all the, ahem, dead bodies. The murky angles of the film seems like quaint little drawbacks instead of reminders of black-hearted instincts; there are times where we forget that our hero has favored guns over an emotional connection for nearly his entire life. "Grosse Pointe Blank" is just too charming to be overtly sadistic.
Much of this can be indebted to the chemistry between Cusack and Driver, who were born to play opposite each other. Paralleling are their attractive but not movie star attractive good looks, their distinctly intelligent personality types. It doesn't feel as though they're going through the motions of a characterization, rather playing themselves and enjoying each other's company - whether it's all stupendously configured movie fakery I can hardly tell; their quick-witted repartee glides by with the smoothness of Uma Thurman and John Travolta passing the time over milkshakes and twist contests. The romantic relationship doesn't feel forced simply because Cusack and Driver seem too slick to give their soul to someone else anyway. Feelings come as a surprise to them, and "Grosse Pointe Blank" flourishes on that naturalness.
Also making memorable appearances are Joan Cusack, as Martin's capricious secretary, Jeremy Piven as the bored high school buddy, and Alan Arkin as the endlessly terrified therapist. "Grosse Pointe Blank" is a highlight among the '90s stewing of comedy, and, thanks to Cusack and company's sharp screenplay, the dialogue stings as much as it warms the heart. It's a rare case of black comedy gone gold.