YOU KILL ME (John Dahl). 94 minutes. Opens Friday (July 6). Rating: NNNN
The great danger in reviewing You Kill Me is the temptation to oversell it. It's a sly, smart comedy with a gift for delayed reaction gags and sidelong humour.
Having messed up once too often, Frank ( Ben Kingsley ), an alcoholic Polish-American hit man from Buffalo, is shipped off to San Francisco by his family to get his life together.
As his crime family falls apart at home, he joins AA and meets a nice woman ( Téa Leoni ) whose history has led her to the point of thinking, "A drunk and a professional killer, fine, as long as he's not gay."
Writers Chris Markus and Stephen McFeely , whose money project involves scripting the Narnia films, take a satirical look at our Oprah-fuelled belief in 12-step and recovery programs, creating a world where we're rooting for a hit man to deal with his alcoholism so he can be better at his job.
Director John Dahl (The Last Seduction, Rounders) and his cast are smart enough to present characters who aren't in on the joke of the premise, and the comedy comes from that tension, and from Kingsley's and Leoni's the finely detailed character work.