I've seen these characters so many times that the only funny thing about the whole endeavor is the number of people in the audience who couldn't have attached their wallets to vacuum hoses and had eight bucks sucked out of them faster.
If Robert De Niro is such a damn good actor, why can't he learn how tocry? Watching him try makes you begin to wonder if a dog with an especially smelly bowel problem is farting and chopping onions somewhere nearby.
Despite his position as one of New York's top gangsters, Paul Vitti (De Niro) does quite a bit of weeping. He's stressed out; so much so, in fact, that he requires the services of psychiatrist Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal). Naturally, Sobel isn't exactly thrilled to treat Vitti, because one screw-up, and he's sleeping with the fishes. Crystal knows this, but lets circumstances keep pulling him back in instead of doing the intelligent thing, which would be to fire his agent before he finds himself on Hollywood Squares.
What's supposed to be funny here is the twist on the gangster genre, that in our modern world a gangster's stress would require therapy. Ha ha. The only stereotype that's missing from this movie is Joe Pesci in a black shirt and white tie escorting the hooker with a heart of gold to the festive Italian wedding at a Mob casino. Oh, stop, my sides are aching. I don't know about anyone else, but I've seen these characters so many times that the only funny thing about the whole endeavor is the number of people in the audience who couldn't have attached their wallets to vacuum hoses and had eight bucks sucked out of them faster.
Sobel is about to get married to Laura (Lisa Kudrow) when Vitti enters his life. In a heart-stopping departure from her usual style, Kudrow does that whole "ignorance is bliss" Phoebe schtick yet again. Here's my advice: See anyone from "Friends" in a movie, run like hell for the exit. And what is Crystal, 20 years older than Kudrow? His performance screams "just stick with Oscar hosting" so loud blood will start running from your ears.
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