A young woman (Selma Blair) about to jump from a skyscraper is grabbed and taken hostage by a bank robber (Max Beesley). With that, the modest but appealing "Kill Me Later" is off and running, but happily the filmmakers here are more interested in its people and their lives than in the chase that follows.
Blair's Shawn wakes up to a really bad day. Her lover, Mathew (D.W. Moffett), who turns out to be not only married but her boss, yet again has no real time for her. Her goldfish has died, which is hardly cheering. In her job as a loan officer at a bank, she doesn't just turn down an application from a couple about to adopt, but bluntly details why they can't afford a child. And when she appears at Mathew's office to tell him their affair is over, she encounters his very pregnant wife, not knowing until that second that the woman was expecting; clearly, despite promises to the contrary, Mathew never intended to leave his wife for her. All this quickly brings Shawn to head for a skyscraper's roof, where she is teetering on its edge. As she is about to leap, she is taken hostage by Charlie ( Beesley), who, with two partners, has just robbed the bank downstairs--now Shawn and Charlie are off, with the law in pursuit. Director Dana Lustig and her co-writer, Annette Goliti Gutierrez, working from a short film made some time ago by "Tortilla Soup" director Maria Ripoli, are focused on the relationship that develops between Shawn and Charlie and what that reveals about them and others in their lives.
Charlie is a charmer from London's East End, and a few bad turns in his life have ensnared him in the bank holdup. Not surprisingly, a lot more than a bad romance has brought Shawn to the brink, and the resilient Charlie starts trying to make a dent in her self-pity. The filmmakers, whose previous film was "Wedding Bell Blues," see their people in the whole, and in first taking them seriously they're then able to have some fun with them. In the process they introduce a clever and unexpected plot twist and wind up with a well-earned, amusing epilogue.
Blair, the "Legally Blonde" co-star who made a vivid impression as an awkward young woman in "Cruel Intentions," and Beesley, who won international acclaim in the BBC's new version of "Tom Jones," make a terrific couple, although it takes a while for their Shawn and Charlie to realize it. Among others lending fine support is Brendan Fehr as Charlie's youngest partner in crime. Although the film's narrative line sometimes proves hard to follow, and some of the songs heard on the soundtrack seem to have little to offer beyond sheer noise, "Kill Me Later" is a gem, even if a little rough around the edges.
MPAA-rated: R, for some language. Times guidelines: adult themes and situations but suitable for mature older children.
'Kill Me Later'
Selma Blair: Shawn
Max Beesley: Charlie
D.W. Moffet: Mathew
A Seventh Art release of a Curb Entertainment and Amazon Film Productions presentation. Director Dana Lustig. Producers Ram Bergman, Dana Lustig, Carole Curb Nemoy and Mike Curb. Executive producer Federico Pignatelli. Screenplay Annette Goliti Gutierrez; from a story by Lustig and Gutierrez based on a short film by Maria Ripoli. Cinematographer David Ferrara. Editor Gabriel Wyre. Music Tal Bergman, Renato Neto. Costumes Katrina McCarthy. Production designer Tony Devenyi. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Exclusively at the Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-3500.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times