I do sort of feel that you are missing something huge that is right in front of you, Colin. Not sure why but you are not alone in missing it. I'm going to spoiler these next comments because this is a new film and I think we are into territory that might give stuff away... Spoiler: SPOILER So, are you missing that the picture is a fairy tale, a wish, a what if? It is not called "Once Upon a Time..." by accident. The entire fairy tale aspect is built around the Tate character. It is her life that is the fairy tale, it is because she is in the picture that the ending is a fairy tale ending. These two drunks that were basically going nowhere fast, Cliff and Rick, end up saving the princess, Tate. This can't happen if Tate is not in the film. The story is not a fairy tale if she is not in it. Rick and Cliff's story is not a fairy tale. They are on their way down. Rick's hope is that he gets to meet the princess, Tate, and she and Polanski help him/offer him work in something he sees as really good because they are hot and on their way up. He finally gets to meet her at the end because he and Cliff killed the people we know in real life would have killed her. And typical of Tarantino this is his big revenge moment in the film because we get the payoff of seeing the pieces of garbage that in real life slaughtered Tate, get brutally murdered by Cliff and Rick. Tarantino entirely builds the finale of the film around Tate being in it. He turns it into this almost documentary day and time thing leading up to the murder of Tate and her friends to the point where when the killers get out of the car and start walking up the street to kill someone it appears it will be Tate and her friends. You would not get the sense of relief and the hilarious release of seeing the Manson family members killed without having Tate in the picture. Also no Tate means where is Rick's payoff at the end and the potential that actually getting to meet Tate might mean more and better work for him. It is playing on that "fairy tale" idea that one little bit of fate can forever change your life and others. Basically, saying just cut Tate out of the film is saying Tarantino should have made a totally different picture. It's honestly a bizarre criticism of the film.