Since Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt are starring in the same movie, one would assume that the movie involves a romantic angle involving the two. But, that is not the case. Considering how badly Jerry and Samantha get along, played by Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts respectively, it is a good thing that they do not share a lot of screen space. The movie revolves around the offbeat relationship which develops between Samantha and Leroy, played by James Gandolfini.
The plot begins with Jerry and Samantha having problems. Samantha is tired of Jerry’s lack of commitment to their relationship and after he picks going to Mexico for yet another assignment, instead of going to Las Vegas with her as promised, she throws him out. From there on the storyline no longer ventures on the romantic side, but becomes rather quirky.
Jerry owes a Mafioso played by Gene Hackman. And it is this debt which he has to repay. Jerry takes up one last assignment for him. He has to trace a cursed gun called the Mexican through Mexico and deliver it back to the mafia. What follows is a thoroughfare of mishaps surrounding Jerry and the Mexican.
Meanwhile, Samantha decides to go to Vegas on her own, and on the way lands up getting kidnapped by Leroy, played by Gandolfini. The kidnapping seems to have taken place for simple reasons. But, those reasons start to get murkier and increasingly complicated as the movie progresses. However, there is a lot of psychological babble between the two, as they start to share their insights.
The screenplay keeps shifting between the misadventures of Samantha and Jerry. Jerry seems unable to pull himself out of the mess, created all because of the gun - the Mexican. He is obsessed with trying to get Samantha back, and hence keeps bungling everything up. Among the many entertaining features of the movie, there is Jerry’s obsession with trying to speak Spanish, by adding an “O” at the end of every English word, and real Mexicans taking him round in circles. The movie has brilliant dialogues, and the exchange between Samantha and Leroy are interesting on a totally different level.
Gandolfini’s character makes Julia Robert shine. The movie isn’t like any other gangster mafia movie. Nor is it romantic. What it is - is dark and hilarious. The story is not in your face, but witty and entertaining in spite of that. Each actor shines in his own role. If Julia and Brad had been paired together, there would have been no role for Gandolfini’s character and the result would have been just any other predictable story.
All in all, the movie is a must watch. But, to reiterate, don’t expect any mushy rom-com in this movie. Go for it, for nothing else but its understated appeal.