Sweet Revenge

Sweet Revenge (1998)

Genres - Comedy, Romance, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Romantic Drama  |   Release Date - Jun 9, 1998 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - France, United Kingdom  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Buzz McClain

This dark fantasy of manners refuses to conceal its origins as a play called +The Revengers' Comedy by the well-regarded playwright Alan Ayckbourn. The acting is suitably arch and the dialogue has the off-kilter zing of lines that don't acknowledge reality, a trait more indigenous to the theater and rarely seen these days in cinema. It works, at least on a superficial level, but it leaves the black comedy more a shade of gray. The plot is a zany twist on Strangers on a Train -- though not as nutty as Billy Crystal's take, Throw Momma from the Train -- and it alternates from comedy to tragedy a bit too fluidly to make much of an impression as either. The quartet that forms the core of the cast -- Sam Neill, Helena Bonham Carter, Kristen Scott Thomas, and Steve Coogan -- is supplemented by two scene-stealing performances that make the film negligibly worthwhile: Rupert Graves as an adrenaline-fueled brother and Liz Smith as a cagey, know-it-all servant. Don't expect too much and Revenge is yours.