I Love You to Death (1990)

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Released 23-Feb-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Trailer-Manhattan Murder Mystery, Murder By Death
Trailer-So I Married An Axe Murderer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 93:14
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Lawrence Kasdan

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Kevin Kline
Tracey Ullman
Joan Plowright
River Phoenix
William Hurt
Keanu Reeves
James Gammon
Jack Kehler
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music James Horner

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I Love You To Death is a black comedy originally released theatrically in 1990. It stars Kevin Kline as Joey Boca, a philandering husband, Tracey Ullman as his long suffering wife Rosalie and Joan Plowright as her Yugoslavian mother, Nadja. Joey & Rosalie run a neighbourhood pizza bar.

    The story is based upon a true story but has been fictionalised with changed names and a happy ending. Basically, Rosalie refuses to believe that her husband does any more than look at all the women he seems to be friends with despite the remonstrations of their employee, Devo (River Phoenix), who has a crush on her. When she stumbles across Joey with one of his women in the local library she decides to take matters into her own hands, with the prompting and assistance of her mother-in-law.

    Kevin Kline is quite funny here, re-using some of the vocal accents and facial expressions which won him an Oscar for the character Otto in A Fish Called Wanda. He does an excellent job of playing someone who is not really aware of what is going on around him or happening to him. Despite his good performance, the show is stolen from him by Joan Plowright who plays Nadja to perfection, giving us a great combination of sweet old lady and vindictive killer.

    Additionally, this film contains some funny cameos including William Hurt & Keanu Reeves as drug-addicted cousins and Miriam Margolyes as Joey's slap-happy mother. Two other brief appearances of note are Phoebe Cates in an uncredited role as one of Joey's conquests and a young Heather Graham as a girl he obviously has plans for.

    The film was directed by Lawrence Kasdan, who has made a number of other films with Kevin Kline including The Big Chill, Silverado & French Kiss.

    This is not the greatest black comedy ever made, lacking the bite of more recent efforts like Fargo, however it is still an amusing and very watchable film, especially for the quality performances.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is generally pretty good, however, it does have some issues.

    The feature is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which is the original aspect ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture was generally clear, however there were some scenes which were a bit soft. Shadow detail was fairly poor with some of the night scenes being a bit difficult to follow. There was no low level noise.

    The colour was quite good, being generally well saturated with no evidence of colour bleeding, although the whole movie does seem a bit dark.

    The feature included some small film artefacts, both positive and negative which were not really distracting. I also noticed some minor edge enhancement at 29:20. I did not notice any MPEG artefacts.

    There are approximately 20 different sets of subtitles on this disc including most European languages. I tested the English ones and found them easy to read and pretty close to what was being spoken on screen.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is reasonably good, but very front and centre focussed.

    This DVD contains five audio options, a English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s and similar tracks in French, German, Spanish & Italian.    

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand, however it was occasionally drowned out by the music.    

    There were no problems with audio sync.    

    The score of this film by James Horner was fine but not really a big contributor to the film. The best uses of music in the film were Kevin Kline singing and Joan Plowright searching for the perfect record to play while a gun was being fired.

    Despite the surround encoding, the surround speakers were not particularly noticeable.

    The subwoofer was used to support the music.


Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu was static and had no sound, and allowed for scene selection. It was 16x9 enhanced.

Trailers (1:41, 3:10 & 2:08) 

    The only extras here are trailers for three other comedies with a murder scene. They are for Manhattan Murder Mystery, Murder By Death & So I Married An Axe Murderer. The last is the most interesting with Mike Myers talking direct to camera. They were all presented in 1.33:1.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc (when compared to the Region 1 release) misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Based upon the above, the Region 4 disc is the pick due to its PAL formatting unless you like pan and scan.


    This movie is a mildly amusing black comedy, worth seeking out if you like the actors.

    The video quality is reasonable.

    The audio quality is not bad but certainly not anything to get excited about.

    The only extras are trailers for other films.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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