Analyze This (1998), movie  » Movies  »
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  • I rate it an 8 for a comedy, but over-all as a film experience, it's a flat 6

    • by Pennywise
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      American comedies have become part of a cliche after the 90s, the main plot being based simply on a failed relationship or some other unsatisfying cheesy drama. What I can claim to be a good comedy with cleverly conceived humour is ‘Analyze This’, the 1998 movie starring Billy Crystal, Robert DeNiro and Lisa Kudrow. The plotline isn’t complicated and it certainly isn’t what makes this movie so hilarious. The movie starts by following the separate lives of Dr.

      Ben Sobel (Crystal), a psychiatrist with family issues and Paul Vitti (DeNiro), the iron-tough mobster who is concerned about his virility. They accidentally meet and before long, Dr. Sobel is forced to have him as a patient.

      Dealing with Vitti gets him into a run with other Mafia


      problems and the FBI, but the worst comes when the mob boss interrupts his wedding plans, childlishly sobbing on his shoulder because he felt he was becoming less of a man. The movie has created several running jokes that come up in the sequel as well (Analyze That, 2002), such as the constant complimenting of Vitti (”You. You got a gift, my friend.

      ”) or simply his not-so-psychologically-soothing way of dealing with things (when Dr. Sobel tells him to hit a pillow in order to feel better, he merely takes out a gun and shoots the pillow until left without any bullets). The two characters have an unusually fitting chemistry going on, as they seem to be completely different people.

      Vitti is a man who doesn’t ...


      • take no for an answer and Ben is a man who is so naive as to see nothing wrong in refusing him. What is the truly fantastic source of humour among this film is the brilliant acting. Billy Crystal does a great role, as the nervous, pathetic little man who offers therapy but is in need of it himself.

        He also has a relationship to take care of, but his wedding plans and the out-of-place whining of his fiancee (Kudrow) were, sadly, a mistake of the filmmakers. On the other hand, Crystal is almost not even worth mentioning, as opposed to the stunningly amusing acting of Robert DeNiro. He masters the film in a selfish way, but we can do nothing but enjoy his performance,

        as we find ourselves surprised by the change of pace in his career: going from the hunk boxer in “Raging Bull” (1980) who gets his teeth blown out of his mouth and still wouldn’t give up, or the powerful and greedy gangster in “Casino” (1995), he leaves the tough guy roles behind and plays the part of a mobster who just misses his Daddy.

        Personally, I find this movie highly entertaining and one of the few fairly recent good comedies. It’s got great performances, amusing jokes and “The Godfather” references. You wouldn’t need anything else for a relaxing Friday evening.

        Oh, and as a tip: eating pasta while watching would make for real authenticity. I rate it an 8 for a comedy, but over-all as a film experience, it’s a flat 6.




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