It’s hard to do a mob hitman comedy, but it can be done. “The Whole Nine Yards” managed it, although its sequel, the “Whole Ten Yards” fell harder than William Shatner in Yoga class. The “Analyze This” films, both of them, managed to tread the same ground of comedy and bloody action for the most part, but you have to admit that when Hollywood does hitman-comedies, most of the time they’re shooting blanks. Is “You Kill Me”, the new mob comedy starring Tea Leoni and Ben Kingsley the next “Grosse Pointe Blank”? Probably not. But it could be. The trailer is here, so judge for yourself.
Frank Falenczyk (Ben Kingsley) loves his job. He just happens to be the hit-man for his Polish mob family in Buffalo, New York. But Frank’s got a drinking problem and when he messes up a critical assignment that puts the family business in peril, his uncle (Philip Baker Hall) sends him to San Francisco to clean up his act. Played with gruff charm by Kingsley, Frank is not a touchy-feely kind of guy. But he starts going to AA meetings, gets a sponsor (played by Luke Wilson) and a job at a mortuary where he falls for the tart-tongued Laurel (T’a Leoni), a woman who is dangerously devoid of boundaries. Meanwhile, things aren’t going well in Buffalo where an upstart Irish gang is threatening the family business. When violence erupts, Frank is forced to return home and with an unlikely assist from Laurel, faces old rivals on new terms.
Stylishly directed by John Dahl (Rounders, The Last Seduction), You Kill Me is the story of what happens when two mismatched people find a common calling. With dead-on performances by Kingsley and Leoni, You Kill Me is a street-smart mob comedy that scores a direct hit.