Call it the equivalent on candlelight for movie geeks but before being referenced in Amelie, I believe it was François Truffaut who said that the most beautiful thing about going to the cinema was looking back at the crowd to see the reflection of flickering celluloid light up the faces of the audience.
And sure enough, an old theater screening Humphrey Bogart classics is precisely where Kill's journalist heroine Sally (Lara Jean Chorostecki) first lays eyes on the man (Jefferson Brown) whose face she’ll use not for inspiration for the novel she’s long aspired to write but for the faux portrait of her male columnist alter-ego Mr. Know It All.
Turning the sketch in to her best friend and editor Patti (Kristina Pesic) who’d given her the task to provide a worthwhile face to go along with the words she anonymously types under her pseudonym, Sally assumes an innocent drawing of an innocent stranger won’t be considered anything other than completely innocent.
Unfortunately for Sally, the handsome Bogart fan is anything but innocent, as the audience is quick to discover that her cinematic muse is in all actuality a professional killer and our unlucky heroine has unwittingly exposed his likeness to the world.
In debt to the mob up to his eyeballs, thanks to his new notoriety seriously infringing on his ability to stalk and shoot without detection as fans corner Brown’s hitman Albert everywhere he goes, our amoral leading man realizes he has no choice but to take out the real Mr. Know It All for good, if only so he can get back to business.
While predictably an attraction to Sally further complicates matters on Albert’s path to bring the enigmatic columnist out in the open, stuntwoman turner screenwriter (and co-director) Sandra Feldman’s truly original premise keeps us watching despite some obvious missteps in logic.
Major suspension of disbelief aside that in 2013, more people would probably consult Google, Twitter and Facebook for help rather than a local newspaper, Feldman nonetheless deserves major credit for infusing her script with unique spins on classic romantic comedy plotting.
Although some of the supporting players seem more like comedic caricatures than believable characters, the energetic turns by the leads keep the pace speeding along even after the film runs out of steam midway through and begins relying on contrivances along with a cookie cutter conclusion to resolve the convoluted misunderstandings that abound in the second half.
While it’s definitely out of its league in terms of the now-crowded world of hitman comedies, for an independent romantic comedy to enjoy on a rainy weekend, you could do a lot worse than this creative take on love that blooms amidst the celluloid light reflected in Humphrey Bogart’s eyes.
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