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You Kill Me


The power of being able to express your feelings without judgment is one that can be underappreciated. One of the best forums for this freedom of expression is through Alcoholics Anonymous. After failing to murder a rival mob leader due to a drunken slumber, Frank (Ben Kingsley) learns to accept his vulnerability while sobering up in the mob-hit, alcoholic recovery comedy, You Kill Me.

Grade:

For a movie about an alcoholic assassin, You Kill Me has a lighthearted, fun attitude that makes you forget the nature of Frank’s position. Tom (Luke Wilson) and Laurel (Tea Leoni) support Kingsley as his friend/sponsor and lover who provide a steadying balance to his life of which he was quickly losing control. They also provide much of the comedic banter. There are moments that are subtle, but especially hilarious, such as Frank teaching Laurel how to properly kill someone to the happy music of “My Happy Day”. Frank also learns about taking life for granted by working in a funeral home restoring bodies for their wakes. This experience gives him the perspective needed to truly dive head first into his recovery. Kingsley does an excellent job, as usual, portraying a hardened criminal as well as a man who wants to lead a normal life.

The two most glaring plot holes are: Frank’s lightning fast submission to AA and Laurel’s nonexistent reasons for her untrusting exterior. In the beginning Frank is a stubborn man completely unwilling to admit he has a problem. He is uncooperative, curt and generally unhappy until he speaks with Tom and discovers the potential benefits of AA. Then, out of almost nowhere, Frank decides he is one hundred percent willing to speak about his problem, accept it and turn his life around. For being such an obstinate person, he sure accepts responsibility quickly just from a change of setting and a fresh face. He develops a relationship with Laurel that blossoms into something very real for each of them. He is brutally honest with her about everything and for an unknown reason she is perfectly fine with a man she just met telling her that he kills people for a living.

Laurel clearly has her own problems. We are fortunate to not be forced to listen to them, but we are unfortunate that it causes problems in her relationship with Frank and we have no explanation. He is completely open with her, but she does not reciprocate leaving him confused and pushing him off the wagon at one point.  These are minor problems that don’t necessarily change the flow of the film; they are simply odd once noticed afterward.

The film does a great job showing the importance of AA meetings for alcoholics and how much those meetings can truly change someone’s life for the better. The beauty of You Kill Me lies in its ability to show the importance of a support system in such an adult setting without making these points obvious enough to wear on you. It is purely enjoyable.

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