Directed by Harold Ramis
Written by Ken Lonergan, Harold Ramis & Peter
story by Lonergan & Tolan
Starring Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal,
Lisa Kudrow, Chazz Palminteri, Joe Viterelli
My Advice: Wait and Rent It
Rating: out of
Dr. Ben Sobel (Crystal) on first glance lives the kind of life
most of us AOL underlings would envy. He's a fairly wealthy psychiatrist, has a happy (albeit somewhat maladjusted
child), and is reveling in his upcoming nuptials with perky and pretty television reporter, Laura (Kudrow)
And then a unfortunate twist and an ill-fated "bumper-to-bumper"
accident takes him straight into life of Paul Vitti. (DiNiro) This anxiety prone mob boss - suffering from increasingly
frequent attacks of panic, must get his life in order before the rival mob boss Primo Sidone (Palminteri) wipes
out his problems "permanently"
The beauty of this comedic match was DiNiro's typecasting against
Crystal's rubber faced jocularity. While the film seemed stretched at times - with use of repeated punch lines
and scenarios, I really think they managed to hold their ends quite nicely. I, however, was disappointed in Kudrow.
Is anyone else, besides me, tired of seeing Phoebe from Friends appearing in every Kudrow film? It's the same persona,
the same schtick....anyone would have brought more life to this part. I half expected Romy to come and snatch her
away for the highschool reunion at any moment.
I went into this movie with high hopes and, for the first half
hour or so, I felt emotionally full and happy. (Of course that also could have been all the Jujubes I had been
packing away during the previews.) But, as I stated earlier, things soon became repetitive and things started to
sag dearly as the film moved on. Just how many times could you find Crystal being "kidnapped" by DiNiro's
goons for an impromptu "session" before it just wasn't funny anymore? I counted. It was 2.
In a nutshell, a humorous little film. Though flat it stays
comedic and edgy and you'll laugh aloud. But it could have -- and should have -- been better. Make it a rental
-- mass "group discomfort" of a theater setting warrants it as such.