You Kill Me

Rated 3.0

When an alcoholic hit-man (Ben Kingsley) botches an important job, his Buffalo syndicate sends him to San Francisco to dry out. He finds work in a funeral home, and love or something like it with a punchy saleswoman (Téa Leoni) who’s a bit like him: wised-up and wound-up, with her expectations wound down. Director John Dahl’s little black comedy, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, might sound desperately derivative—how can it not seem beholden to both The Sopranos and Six Feet Under at once, not to mention ho-hum hit-man dramadies of yester-decade like Grosse Point Blank? But You Kill Me moots the comparisons pretty convincingly by not wanting too much to be liked. Slight and sometimes too glib but full of appealing performances and a patiently unsentimental mixture of screwball and noir, it exudes control; Dahl’s lightness of touch reads as a concern for good form, like knowing how to squeeze a trigger instead of pulling it.