If you liked This, you’ll love That. Analyze
That, that is.
This second installment chronicles more antics of former
Mafia family head Paul Vitti (DeNiro), therapist Ben
Sobel (Crystal), sidekick Jelly (Viterelli),
Mrs. Laura Sobel (Kudrow), and other random gangsters.
The film opens with Vitti in jail, befriending and intimidating
inmates and guards alike. When there’s an attempt on his life,
Paul convincingly fakes insanity, memorably singing show tunes
and mimicking catatonia.
Simultaneously, Ben Sobel, self-proclaimed therapist to “neurotic
soccer moms and alcoholic gentiles,” is giving the eulogy
at his father’s funeral. Throughout the film, he’s dealing
with the loss, repeating, “I’m grieving. It’s a process” one
too many times. When “insane” Vitti is released into Ben’s
custody, he proceeds to bring loudly orgasmic girls and sketchy
mob figures into the Sobel household, irking Laura to no end.
Kudrow is charmingly funny in her role but just doesn’t get
enough screen time to make much of an impact.
Paul runs through a variety of odd jobs, from jewelry salesman
to busboy, until coming across the director of a cheesy Mafia
TV show, “Little Caesar.” One of this reviewer’s favorite
scenes in the movie (apart from DeNiro singing “Maria” in
prison) is set in a Japanese restaurant. Dr. Sobel has been
self-medicating with ginkgo biloba, among other things. Mix
that with some sake and Billy Crystal’s comedic genius, and
But the real achievement here, script-wise, is that Ramis
doesn’t just rehash the same jokes as in the original movie—always
a fear in such a similar sequel. And of course, much respect
must be given to DeNiro, one of the most amazing dramatic
actors currently working in Hollywood, for pulling off this
role famously—again. The script is smart, the acting awesome,
the comedic timing to die for.
Billy C. and Bobby D., “You’re good, you.”