Thursday, 11 October 2012

Chris' Film Club: Grosse Pointe Blank

It's Joan Cusack's birthday so we look at a fairly early role for this talented actress.  Joan has managed to step out of the shadow of famous brother John and secure some great supporting roles which always leave a lasting impression.  This multi-stranded 1997 film tells the story of Martin Blank (John Cusack) a professional hitman who is pressurised into going to his school re-union by his secretary (Joan Cusack) and wished far away by his terrified shrink, the reliable Alan Arkin - to the small town of Grosse Point to settle a score with a rival killer played by Dan Aykroyd.  Aykroyd plays against type as the somewhat unhinged 'Grocer' and gives an acclaimed performance as far away from Elwood as he can manage.  Cusack's Blank is suffering from depression and seeks to redeem his troubled soul by reconnecting with Debi Newberry, played by Minnie Driver, a former flame he abandoned on prom night (seems to be a recurring theme in our recent movies...).  A running gag in the film is when he answers the truth about his chosen career to all who ask.  However it's all a bit of a downer for Blank, as he sees former friends settled into normal non-lethal working life.
Blank is not only stalked by Grocer and his terrorist accomplice LaPoubelle, also on his tail are two NSA agents tipped off by Grocer.  Grosse Pointe Blank is a black comedy written by Cusack and stands up as on of the most cutting-edge comedies in recent years.

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