Synopsis by Paul Brenner
Lawrence Kasdan's black comedy about a wife's ultimate revenge against her womanizing husband is based on a true story about the wife of a pizzeria owner who decided to kill her cheating husband. When her attempt to murder him failed, the husband refused to press charges against her because he felt she had done the right thing. Kevin Kline is the pizzeria owner Joey Boca in I Love You to Death. Joey is a smooth Italian lothario, modeled after Marcello Mastroianni, who cheerfully dons his plumbers overalls to repair his female tenants' plumbing in the rental apartments the family owns. Joey feels he is justified in bedding down countless numbers of women because of all the hours he puts in day after day at the pizzeria. Plus, as he tells one of his women friends, "I'm a man. I got a lotta hormones in my body." His wife Rosalie (Tracey Ullman) sweetly ignores her husband's philandering -- that is until she visits the public library and sees Joey fondling one of tenants in the book stacks. At first Rosalie considers suicide, but finally, egged on by her mother Nadja (Joan Plowright), she determines that Joey must be the one to face the music. But the people Rosalie hires to do Joey in are of the cut-rate variety and are unsuccessful. They then try to knock Joey off by feeding him barbiturate-laced spaghetti, but also to no avail. Rosalie then enlists pizzeria employee Deco Nod (River Phoenix), who has a crush on Rosalie, to do the job. But even then, they have no luck. As a last resort, they try to hire professionals. What they get instead are two drugged-out junkies -- Harlan (William Hurt) and Marlin (Keanu Reeves) -- who arrive at the home and blast at a slumbering figure in the bedroom. Then, while they report on their progress downstairs, Joey ambles into the living room, very much alive.
crush, husband-and-wife, marital-problems, mother, murder, philandering, revenge