To Die For

"Good"

To Die For Review


Gus Van Sant's new, much-hyped farce/thriller is finally here, and with it arrives the director's best feature and Nicole Kidman's strongest performance. To Die For, the tale of Suzanne Stone (Kidman), a sexy newswoman wannabe who'll do anything to get on television, is entertaining and funny, but pulls its punches by never taking the farce of its story far enough.

Told in half-flashback, half-mockumentary style, the film traces the events leading up to the murder of the Suzanne's husband, Larry (Matt Dillon). We see Suzanne trying to get ahead in the media world, carving out a career for herself at a low budget cable station. We also see large stretches of Suzanne creating a meaningless documentary about modern teenagers, wherein three kids (including drugged-out zombie Jimmy, played by an unwatchable Joaquin Phoenix) are interviewed ad nauseam. All the while, key relatives try to get to the bottom of the mystery: who killed Larry, and why?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is almost painfully obvious from the movie's first frame. As far as the term "thriller" is concerned, To Die For is completely off base. On a comic level, though, the film is worthwhile. Buck Henry's smart script and ear for humor is responsible for this, creating a "nice" story that usually amuses and overcomes the one-dimensional drama.

In the end, I was hoping for a whole lot more, given all the buzz around the film. With a farce like this, you really have to take the lunacy almost to absurdity, but Suzanne never even gets out of Little Hope (get it?), New Hampshire. Where is Suzanne in Hollywood? Where is The Trial of the Century? Well, I guess those scenes were cut out in earlier drafts.... The result is a less than satisfying ending that left me saying, "That's it?"

That was it.



To Die For

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 6th October 1995

Box Office Worldwide: $21.3M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: The Rank Organisation, Columbia Pictures Corporation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 47 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Suzanne Stone Maretto, as Larry Maretto, as Jimmy Emmett, as Russel Hines, as Janice Maretto, as Lydia Mertz, as Joe Maretto, as Ed Grant, as Man at Lake, as Earl Stone, as Carol Stone, as Faye Stone, Maria Tucci as Angela Maretto, Tim Hopper as Mike Warden

Also starring: ,

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