Monarch Home Entertainment // 2012 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Alice Nelson // November 30th, 2013
Moral of the story: never use the likeness of a hitman on your advice column -- obvs.
Sally (Lara Jean Chorostecki) anonymously writes an advice column using the pseudonym of Mr. Know It All. When it gets some unexpected notoriety, her editor decides they need to keep Sally's identity a secret and find someone who could be the face of the column. Sally finds a handsome stranger named Albert (Jefferson Brown, Red), and without his knowledge, uses his likeness as her alter ego. But there's one small problem: Albert is a hitman who needs to keep a low profile. Angry by this breech of privacy, he decides to kill Mr. Know it All (of course). Through a lot of sitcom-like hijinks, Sally and Albert meet, but what he doesn't know is that Sally is the architect behind the column. Now what will Albert do when he finds out that the person he intends to kill is also the woman he has grown to love?
Please Kill Mr. Know It All is a Canadian film -- but I didn't even hold that against it. I went in with an open mind and waited for the story to unfold. But what started out as an interesting and quirky film, quickly devolved into a convoluted rom-com with little payoff.
Sally is by far the most interesting character in writer Sandra Feldman's (Mean Girls) screenplay. Sally is a loner and a writer (is there any other kind), who pens an advice column. She lives in a carefully crafted world created to protect her from a lifetime of disappointment. In flashbacks we see that as a child she believed that wishing for things would bring a curse upon the very thing you wanted. Like the time she wished for a puppy; Sally got one, but it was from her father as he was moving out of the house to live with his girlfriend. Now as an adult, she still fears this curse.
Lara Chorostecki portrays the reclusive Sally well, but her character is saddled in a shallow story that tries to be a comedy wrapped in a thriller inside a romance -- and it doesn't do any of it very well. Sally's friendship with her editor Patti (Kristina Pesic, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) is a positive in a film that has very little. Their relationship is far more interesting than anything filmmakers try to develop between Sally and Albert. This is because Jefferson Brown's acting style ranges from stiff and robotic to block of wood. He's fine when not talking, but as soon as he has to display any human attributes he falls short. Never is he believable as a hitman, and the choices Albert makes following the discovery that his handsome mug is being used against his wishes makes little sense. Not to mention that he and Sally have no real sexual chemistry, so the idea of them falling madly in love is preposterous.
Albert isn't the only one who wants Mr. Know It All dead, so does the mobster (Al Sapienza, Pretty Woman) that Albert works for. Seems the mob boss' girlfriend left him because of advice she received from Sally's column. So instead of trying to work things out with the girlfriend, this dimwit decides death is an appropriate form of revenge -- what a surprise his girlfriend left him. Please Kill Mr. Know It All is directed by Colin Carter along with the film's writer Sandra Feldman, maybe we just have a case of too many fingers stirring the pot; whatever the reason, the result is a less than stellar product.
Please Kill Mr. Know It All is a 2.39:1 widescreen DVD transfer, with crisp and clear pictures and a good use of lighting and color. The Dolby 5.1 surround is easy on the ears, even if the dialogue isn't. There are no extras included in this Monarch Entertainment release.
A good beginning doesn't always result in a respectable ending. This is the case with Please Kill Mr. Know It All, a film that shoots out of the starting gate, but quickly loses steam long before the finish line.
More Guilty than not, but not work killing anyone over.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Monarch Home Entertainment
* 2.40:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
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