Ref

Ref

4.7 11
Director: Ted Demme

Cast: Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey

     
 

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Caroline and Lloyd (Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey) are a married couple constantly at each other's throats, masters at crafting acid-tongued barbs at the other's expense. Indeed, they are so obsessed with belittling each other that they never stop -- not even at gunpoint. Such is the premise of the acerbic comedy The Ref, which shows what happens when thisSee more details below

Overview

Caroline and Lloyd (Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey) are a married couple constantly at each other's throats, masters at crafting acid-tongued barbs at the other's expense. Indeed, they are so obsessed with belittling each other that they never stop -- not even at gunpoint. Such is the premise of the acerbic comedy The Ref, which shows what happens when this quarrelsome duo is taken hostage. The gunman is Gus (Denis Leary), a thief on the run from the police, who kidnaps the couple as an insurance policy, planning to use their home as a hideout. But their incessant bickering proves more than Gus bargained for, forcing him -- for the sake of his own sanity -- into the unenviable role of peacemaker. To make things even worse for Gus, he discovers that he has taken the couple hostage the night of their big Christmas party, and the guests are already on the way. Not wanting to leave Lloyd and Caroline unattended, Gus opts to attend the party, pretending to be the couple's marriage counselor. This naturally leads to a series of comic confusions, as the hostage crisis and marital tensions head towards their inevitable conclusion.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
That its plot resolves itself too cleanly does not matter -- The Ref is an actor's film. Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis are uncommonly gifted performers whose verbal battles in this film are as scathing as any screen couple in history (Burton and Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? are the obvious comparison). Their performances are emotionally intricate. The characters do not listen to each other anymore, but they certainly still hear the resentment, frustration, and anger in their mutual insults. Gifted screenwriter Richard LaGravenese's literate dialogue keeps the barbs simultaneously painful and hysterical. Denis Leary's character is the key to the film. He is just as annoyed by these characters as the audience. Fans of Leary's hyper-verbal style will not be disappointed. While his character possesses a superior verbal acuity, he has met his equals in the ultimate bickering couple. The three drive each other into a comedic, verbose frenzy. By no means perfect, comfortable, or heartwarming, The Ref is a smart, biting look at marriage, acted with gusto by the three leads. One is tempted to believe that had The Ref been released after American Beauty, it would have found a larger audience for its challenging, acidly funny tone.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/11/1995
UPC:
0765362748037
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
R
Source:
Walt Disney Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Denis Leary Gus
Judy Davis Caroline
Kevin Spacey Lloyd
Robert J. Steinmiller Jesse
Glynis Johns Rose
Raymond J. Barry Huff
Richard Bright Murray
Howard Feuer Actor
Christine Baranski Connie
Adam Le Fevre Gary
Ellie Raab Mary
Bill Raymond George
Jim Turner Phil
Rutanya Alda Linda
Scott Walker Prosecutor
Edward Saxon Reporter
Kenneth Utt Jeremiah Willard
Marilyn Stonehouse Store Cashier
Robert Ridgely Bob Burley
Charles Kerr Town Citizen
Derek Keurvost Town Citizen
Caroline Yeager Town Citizen
Max Piersig Cadet
John Benjamin Hickey Old Baybrook Policeman
Stephen Hunter Old Baybrook Policeman
Vincent Pastore State Trooper
Tony Craig State Trooper
Peter Krantz State Trooper
Richard Blackburn Santa Family #1
Chas Lawther Santa Family #2
B.D. Wong Dr. Wong
Ron Gabriel Limo Driver
Robert Collins State Trooper
Cecilley Carroll Santa Family #1
J.K. Simmons Siskel

Technical Credits
Ted Demme Director
Ron Bozman Producer
Jerry Bruckheimer Executive Producer
Bruce Carwardine Musical Direction/Supervision
Dennis Davenport Art Director
Daniel Davis Production Designer
Jaro Dick Set Decoration/Design
Howard Feuer Casting
Irene Kent Makeup
Adam Kimmel Cinematographer
Richard LaGravenese Producer,Screenwriter
Judianna Makovsky Costumes/Costume Designer
Andrew Shea Asst. Director
Don Simpson Executive Producer
Dave Stewart Score Composer
Marie Weiss Screenwriter
Jeff Weiss Producer
Jeffery Wolf Editor

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