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Kevin Kline: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

5 Awesome Performances...

5. Joey Boca - I Love You To Death (1990)

One of Kline's many efforts under director Lawrence Kasdan has him starring as the loudmouthed, unfaithful pizzeria owner Joey Boca. Finally coming to the realization of Joey's frequent infidelity, his wife Rosalie (Tracey Ullman) opts for the most drastic of measures - killing him. What follows is over-the-top roguery involving poisoned pasta, reggae, and William Hurt and Keanu Reeves as the two most incompetent hit men in the world. Kline is nothing if not lovable as the buffoon Joey. Sure, an actual Italian-American might have been less distracting, and Kline's caricature of the dough-spinning, mustachioed Joey almost approaches that level of stereotype. But this is not the kind of film you hold up as an example of something like that, and the actors are all well aware of this. This is farcical comedy, over-the-top in almost every sense of the phrase, and Kline is hilariously comedic throughout. Some actually find this to be one of Kline's worst roles, but when you consider how differently the film could have turned out you realize how much of the success can be attributed purely to him. Picture how annoyingly bad it could have been if it were made with one of today's "funny guys" - picture Adam Sandler hacking a thick Italian accent - and you'll appreciate Kline's ease with this kind of comedy.
Contributor

Matt is a writer and musician living in Boston. Read his film reviews at http://motionstatereview.wordpress.com.