by Rosalie Lewis
Let’s start with the cast. You’ve got Kevin Kline in the lead alongside Tracey Ullman, playing married couple Joey and Rosalie. Also along for the ride are River Phoenix, Joan Plowright, William Hurt, Keanu Reeves, and (briefly) Heather Graham and Phoebe Cates. Basically a murderer’s row (you’ll see what I did there later) of talented and charismatic thespians, all at the height of their powers.
Next, let’s talk about the story—which by the way, really happened. Even the details you’re going to think are made up for comedic effect. Joey (Kline) has a wife (Ullman), kids, a very successful pizza parlor, and a bad habit of cheating on his wife with five or more women a week, “give or take one or two.” His wife Rosalie acknowledges her husband has an eye for the ladies, but even though her mother (Joan Plowright) and young employee Devo (Phoenix) warn her he’s up to no good, she doesn’t believe them. When she discovers the truth for herself, she decides the only option is to kill him.
Unquestionably, the highlight of the entire movie (aside from Kline’s Italian accent) is the section featuring William Hurt and Keanu Reeves as stoner cousins who show up to help finish the job on Joey. In the movie their names are Harlon and Marlon; in real life the dudes were called Donald and Ronald. William Hurt sports long blonde hair and sunglasses with lenses you can flip up and down. Keanu has a nose ring, a pot leaf neck tattoo, and a bad goatee. When he sees the headline of a tabloid about a woman giving birth to a kangaroo, he asks in total seriousness, “Is that legal? You know, for humans and kangaroos to have sex?” It’s just the best.
I Love You To Death is available to rent on Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes.