Robert being funny and Billy being serious. Now there’s a turn out for the books.
When Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro) needs help dealing with his role in the “family,” unlucky shrink Dr. Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal) is given just days to resolve Vitti’s emotional crisis and turn him into a happy, well-adjusted gangster.
I love good old mobster movies, especially mobster comedies. But the sad thing is that there hasn’t been many actual good ones, but this one is different. Cause it is actually good.
The screenplay of this film is it’s real strong point. There is a lot of spoofing of mobster films, as well as mobs in general, and it all works so well, because it really does have you laughing. There are several one-liners here that I’m still somehow quoting, and that’s the great thing about this film. How I can still quote it with a smile on my face, is always good.
My only problem with this film is that it isn’t breaking much ground here. Yeah, it’s trying to spoof the mafia itself, but it never actually gets anywhere different than just a spoof. I was expecting a little bit more heart with this screenplay, but what I got I still didn’t have a problem with.
Robert De Niro plays the wiseguy we all know and love him as, and here he is nothing short of hilarious. He plays this wiseguy so well, that a lot of his scenes just seem so genuine. De Niro has always been acting like this, but it never has gotten old, and he still does a knock out job with this material, as he always should. Billy Crystal is also very good basically playing Woody Allen, but that’s not a bad thing. He’s serious, but at the same time goofy, and adds a lot of realism to this role that brings a lot to the film. These two have perfect chemistry and when their on-screen together, you can tell that their actually buddies off the screen, because they get along so well. Let’s not forget to mention Lisa Kudrow as Crystal’s wife, and Chazz Palminteri, as well as Joe Viterelli as some of the other mafia wiseguys.
Consensus: It’s nothing incredibly new, but the laughs are rich, and the great performances from the comedic cast, makes this all a very enjoyable treat.