There are times when it's right and proper to simply bury the dead. This is not one of those times... Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians of his time; a bitter, brilliant...
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There are times when it's right and proper to simply bury the dead. This is not one of those times... Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians of his time; a bitter, brilliant, genius who knew Elvis, tripped with the Stones and fatally overdosed on morphine and tequila in 1973. And from his dying came a story. A story from deep within folklore; a story of friendship, honour and adventure; a story so extraordinary that if it didn't really happen, no one would believe it. Two men, a hearse, a dead rock star, five gallons of petrol, and a promise. And the most extraordinary chase of modern times.Written by
Hilarious but maybe not a film for Gram Parsons fans
Let's get three common misconceptions out of the way...
(1) This is NOT a Gram Parsons biopic.
(2) This does NOT feature a lot of Gram Parsons music (only 2 songs, I think).
(3) Quentin Tarantino had nothing to do with this movie, even though you may have gotten it in your "Touch of Tarantino" DVD box set.
So, you ask, what the heck IS this movie? Answer: It's a black comedy about the 2 days following Gram's death, based on the recollections of Gram's road manager Phil Kaufman. In that respect, it stays very close to Mr. Kaufman's account (he gives an interview on the DVD where he tells the story, basically reiterating everything that happens in the movie verbatim). So if it deviates from the truth, don't blame the filmmakers. Blame Phil Kaufman for not telling it like it was.
Really, though, the accuracy shouldn't make any difference. If we want facts, we'd be watching a documentary, not a movie. So in the same way AMADEUS took wild liberties with the truth and still made for great cinema, GRAND THEFT PARSONS should also be enjoyed purely for its entertainment value.
I don't know the first thing about Gram Parsons, his music or the bizarre circumstances following his death. But I can tell you I loved this movie. It's basically about a bunch of people fighting over a corpse. But don't expect a madcap comedy like "Weekend at Bernies". This has a very subtle style of humour, more like the deadpan comedies "Midnight Run" or "Groundhog Day". It's also a bit of a road movie, carrying a vibe much like "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas".
Some of the gags had me laughing out loud. It wasn't so much what they said as how they said it. With great acting all around, not a moment went by that I wasn't enjoying the show.
Gram Parsons fans, don't expect a movie about Gram. But at the same time, if I were a hardcore GP fan, I think I would get a real kick out of this movie, seeing that Gram raised hell not only in life, but even in death.
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