Grosse Pointe Blank is a dark comedy starring John Cusack. Unlike his High School friends who become respected professionals, Martin Blank (Cusack) found a lucrative career as a hit man. But the job has lost its appeal and Martin faces an uncertain future. Now, he finds himself back in his hometown of Grosse Pointe to attend his ten-year high school reunion, complete one last 'job" and take another shot at rekindling a romance with the girl he stood up on his prom night (Minnie Driver).

By
Margaret Pomeranz

4
A refreshing unconventional film with a snappy script that us sure to make you laugh.

High School reunions are a collision of the past with the present - we saw how Romy & Michelle handled theirs and now it`s Martin Q. Blank`s - John Cusack`s - turn to go back to Grosse Pointe in Michigan ten years after he left. The only problem is Martin`s a professional hit man, not something he feels is appropriate to boast about, but then again he has an assignment in Grosse Pointe. Like any profession there is competition; Grocer - Dan Akroyd - is anxious to unionise the business, but Martin`s a loner. There are also those he left behind - Debi - Minnie Driver, was left standing in her prom dress by Martin, and she`s still pretty angry.... for Martin to go back to Grosse Pointe at this particular moment in his life is significant - he`s experiencing an existential crisis.

This eccentric black comedy was based on a screenplay by Tom Jankiewicz and was co-written by John Cusack and his Chicago theatre mates Steve Pink and D.V. De Vicentis. It has a brilliant scene between Martin and his shrink played by Alan Arkin that is so wonderfully written and played that it is an instant classic. Cusack and his sister Joan who plays his assistant in Los Angeles stir up an attractive energy in the early part of the film, but Minnie Driver doesn`t have a lot to work with in her role and the crazy laid-back humour of the film tends to level off in Grosse Pointe itself. The director was George Armitage who hasn`t made a feature since 1990`s Miami Blues. With Cusack as star, co-writer and co-producer, one wonders whose film this really is.

Grosse Pointe Blank is different, it hasn`t come out of the same old mould and for that we are extremely grateful.You just wish it had been able to maintain the zest of its early scenes, but it`s still very enjoyable.

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