Movie of the Week: Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

George Armitage directs John Cusack, Minnie Driver and Dan Aykroyd in this romantic crime comedy where a hitman goes back to his high school reunion.

A personal favourite. A perfect star vehicle for the boyish but anxious Cusack even though all of the quality ensemble cuts deep into the credits. You fall in love with pretty much everyone in it, even one scene turns; from Barbara Harris’ institutionalised Mom to the monosyllabic kickboxing rival killer. None can compete though with Joan Cusack’s acerbic PA. You can tell the writers had a lot of fun digging out their Elmore Leonards and Ross MacDonalds. Mashing these up with Cusack’s early teen output. Vividly imagined about what these types would be like if they had to go back to their childhood hometown, gun in their waistband, price on their head. The soundtrack is littered with alternate 80s bangers, firing nostalgic wistful energy into every interaction. The violence comes in unpredictable collisions, pointedly full on. The romance rekindles the sweetness of the best John Hughes teen movies, the characters are just a decade more guarded and damaged. It is a movie that packs a breathless amount of entertainment into itself then somehow ups the tempo amazingly once we actually hit that reunion. That sequence is a whirlwind of succinct, perfectly composed cinema. Everyone involved should take a well deserved bow!


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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