I LOVE YOU TO DEATH
Release Date: April 06, 1990
Starring: Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman,
William Hurt, River Phoenix, &
Runtime: 96 minutes
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Producer: Jeffrey Lurie & Ron Moler
Writer: John Kostmayer
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Then, Rosalie sees her philandering husband schmoozing away in the library. Frantically driven to do something, Rosalie and her Hungarian mother, Nadja, scheme to murder Joey in every crazy way possible. When a botched mugging and a rigged car-bomb attempt fail, Rosalie and Nadja whip up a spaghetti meat sauce laced with three bottles of sleeping pills.
Joey slurps it up, but his Italian nature, which is caricatured hilariously, renders him seemingly indestructible. Eventually, he snores off to sleep, and Rosalie calls in her young admirer, Devo, from the pizza parlor to shoot him. After wounding Joey in the head with an ineffective .22, Devo is unable to continue, so he turns the job over to two completely inept, spaced-out, drug addicts. They fire another bullet into Joey. Stumbling around, he is oblivious.
Joey goes to the hospital while the band of misfits confess and are jailed. Misinterpreting his wife's hatred as a love so intense that she would do such a thing, Joey is transformed into a new man. The movie ends happily as Joey forgives and bails out everybody, while promising Rosalie never to break his marriage vows again.
I LOVE YOU TO DEATH is a cautionary tale that condemns adultery. The premise that it is not wise to commit adultery is moved along the comic storyline of a wife who loves her Lothario-like husband so much that she simply has to kill him. Or, at least, try. To Joey, such "love" is what transforms him into a "new man", but Christians know that only "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17).
The ethnocentricity is extremely funny, especially in one hospital scene when Joey's mother comes to visit. True to form, she slaps his bullet-wounded, bandaged head, Italian-style. Parts of the movie, though, are in bad taste, including the opening sequence in which Joey's adulterous affairs are lampooned in a confessional booth. Another scene goes overboard in making light of murder. There are a few profanities and obscenities, and a brief glimpse of rear male nudity.