The Ref

views updated

The Ref ★★★ 1993 (R)

The couple from hell turn the tables on Gus (Leary), a hard-nosed fugitive who takes Caroline (Davis) and her husband Lloyd (Spacey) hostage. Gus then finds himself trapped in the traditional Christmas ordeal of a family suffering from industrial-strength dysfunction. He plots his getaway while masquerading as the couple's marriage counselor, hence the film's title. This sometimes brutal, frequently hysterical satire of male-female relationships, family ties, and compulsory holiday rituals uses consistently sharp dialogue and superb acting to tell an absurd but convincing tale. 97m/C VHS, DVD . J.K. Simmons, Raymond J. Barry, Richard Bright, Adam LeFevre, Ellie Raab, Bill Raymond, Jim Turner, Robert Ridgely, Vincent Pastore, B.D. Wong, Rutanya Alda, Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Glynis Johns, Robert J. Steinmiller Jr., Christine Baranski; D: Ted (Edward) Demme; W: Richard LaGravenese, Marie Weiss; M: David A. Stewart.