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Analyze That (R)
Warner Brothers
Official Site
Director: Harold Ramis
Producers: Jane Rosenthal, Paula Weinstein, Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal, Barry Levinson
Written by: Harold Ramis, Peter Tolan, Peter Steinfeld
Cast: Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli, Brian Rogalski

Rating: out of 5


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 voila!

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.”

—Michelle Fajkus

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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