A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Grosse Point Blank is a dark, quirky comedy about a professional assassin (John Cusack) -- so you can expect many violent confrontations and some blood. For example, in the opening scene, three men are brutally shot at close range; later, a character is stabbed and killed in the neck with a pen. Relationships are relatively mature, and there's strong language throughout, including "f--k" and "s--t." Characters also drink, smoke, and occasionally use/talk about drugs; there are one or two passionate kisses.
What's the story?
Martin Blank (John Cusack) left his family and friends in Grosse Pointe, Mich., behind him 10 years ago, ultimately becoming a hardened professional assassin. But when his latest assignment brings him back to town just in time for his 10th high school reunion, he starts questioning his choices and his path in life -- especially after he looks up old flame Debi (Minnie Driver) and realizes he still has feelings for her. Can he extricate himself from the violent life he's built for himself?
Is it any good?
Cusack fans -- and there are many -- are bound to enjoy GROSSE POINTE BLANK, which is a quirky mix of dark humor, startling violence, and banter-filled romance. There are traces of Cusack's iconic Say Anything character Lloyd Dobler in the angsty, quippy Martin Blank -- if Lloyd's relationship with Diane had gone off the rails, you could almost picture the kickboxing underdog channeling his pain into Martin's deadly lifestyle.
Though Cusack, Driver, and the rest of their Grosse Pointe High classmates seem a bit too old to be having their 10th reunion (15th probably didn't have quite the same hook?), the reunion setting offers lots of opportunities for both humor and self-reflection ... amid chases and fights, of course. Cusack's sister Joan has a memorably funny supporting role as Martin's gung-ho assistant, and the movie's soundtrack -- which includes Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now," the Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun," and '80s hit "Take on Me" -- is strong enough to rival a Cameron Crowe film. It may be too offbeat for some, but if you like your comedy pitch-black and your romances full of snappy rejoinders, Grosse Pointe Blank is a fun entry in Cusack's canon.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: July 12, 2000
- On DVD or streaming: November 10, 2000
- Cast: Dan Aykroyd, John Cusack, Minnie Driver
- Director: George Armitage
- Studio: Buena Vista
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: High School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 107 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence, language and some drug content
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