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Thursday, July 12, 2007

You Kill Me

Posted on Thu, Jul 12, 2007 at 4:00 AM

**1/2
You Kill Me
Studio: IFC
Rated: R
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Téa Leoni
Director: John Dahl
WorkNameSort: You Kill Me
Our Rating: 2.50
This film's fantastic premise ' a dedicated hit man begrudgingly undergoes rehab for his alcoholism ' is unfortunately derailed by its obsession with recovery culture and its constant proselytizing on behalf of 12-step programs. Ben Kingsley stars as the hit man, an assassin so dedicated to his task that he wants to kick his boozing simply because he's a perfectionist and the drinking interfered with his ability to off people. His relocation from Buffalo, N.Y., to San Francisco and his temporary employment in a funeral home provide plenty of situational irony early in the film. But by the time he's opened up to the people in his 'meeting� about his profession, it's become clear that You Kill Me is less a dark comedy than a story of redemption. Kingsley's love interest is played in brassy, detached fashion by Téa Leoni (who also acted as the film's co-producer), and her collaboration with Kingsley does provide moments of comedic excellence. Too bad those moments don't add up to enough to save the film from its ponderous messaging.

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