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"You're not anybody in America unless you're on TV. On TV is where we learn about who we really are. Because what's the point of doing anything worthwhile if nobody's watching? And if people are watching, it makes you a better person."—Suzanne Stone Maretto
To Die For was a Black Comedy directed by Gus Van Sant in 1995. The film is an incredibly dark satire on celebrity obsession. Nicole Kidman plays Suzanne Stone Maretto a beautiful and ruthlessly ambitious (if talentless and not overly bright) young woman desperate to become a world famous news anchor, even if she has to commit murder along the way.
Though not a box office success the film was praised by critics and has become a minor Cult Classic. It earned $21,284,514 in the United States market, the 77th most successful film of its year. Kidman earned her first Golden Globe for her role and many fans still rank it with some of her best work (and certainly her best comedy.)
The film also starred Matt Dillon and the then unknown Joaquin Phoenix in one of his first major roles.
- It's All About Me: Psychologists agree that Suzanne is elligible for a diagnosis of Narcissistic personality disorder.
- Ambition Is Evil
- Black Comedy
- Blondes Are Evil
- Brainless Beauty
- The Ditz (Most characters actually. Suzanne would be The Ditz in any other movie but next to Larry and Jimmy...)
- Dumb Blonde
- Fake Ethnicity: Irish-American Matt Dillon as an Italian-American.
- Fauxlosophic Narration (Suzanne - played for laughs)
- Foot Focus
- Hot Scoop
- Karma Houdini ( Seemingly played straight, then subverted. The cops gain evidence on Suzanne via Lydia wearing a wire but her lawyer gets it declared inadmissable in court because it was accquired through entrapment. Then the aquitted Suzanne goes too far painting Larry as a drug addict which causes her father in law to order a hit on her.
- Kent Brockman Weather
- The Mafia (Played with: Suzanne's father's fears that her Italian-American husband comes from a Mafia family are intended to come across as ridiculous and borderline racist. turns out they are a Mafia family but they only react when Suzanne has a man killed, and then the only person they hurt is Suzanne herself in revenge.)
- Playing Against Type (Nicole Kidman as a sociopathic airhead!)
- Politically-Incorrect Villain
- Retroactive Recognition: Joaquin Pheonix and Casey Affleck in his first big role.
- Small Name, Big Ego
- Stepford Smiler
- Sympathetic Murderer (Suzanne is convinced she's one. The reality is otherwise.)
- Ted Baxter
- The Unfair Sex: Averted hard with the heartless character of Suzanne
- The Vamp (Played with; Suzanne has the ruthlessness and the looks but lacks the brains to pull it off properly - her 'seduction' and 'manipulation' are hilariously ham-fisted and obvious. Luckily her targets are even dumber than she is.)
- The Vamp
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story (Was inspired by the real-life Pamela Smart case)
- Villain Protagonist
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit