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Analyze That

Starring: Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow and Joe Vitterelli.
Directed (and co-written) by: Harold Ramis
Rated: R



Analyze That is freakin' hysterical. It's funny for friggin' days over here. I laughed so hard I nearly blew a calzone out my nose!

For those who adored Analyze This (like me) Analyze That is, dare I say, is even funnier. Billy Crystal is one of the funniest men on Earth and DeNiro- well - is DeNiro. The two make the buddy movies of late look like rank amateurs. Though I loved Showtime. You see a pattern here? Yeah, DeNiro. He can do no wrong. Whaddya questionin' me? I'm honest. If he bit the rotten capicola in the third drawer I'd speak up. Naturally he never does so I can sit back and purr.

Story goes…Paul Vitti (Mr. Robert DeNiro), is a tough sonnovabitch Mafia crime boss chillin' in prison for the first escapade. He runs the place, natch, but as of late it's getting tough to survive. Apparently, someone wants him in the Hudson swimmin' with the fishes. He doesn't know whom he can trust…and he has to get out - fast.

So Paulie calls on his old pal and psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal). Dr. Sobel treated Mr. Vitti a while ago for his various phobias and Freudian hang-ups that were strung like a tenement laundry line in July. By the time Dr. Sobel gets to Vitti, Paul's has had a "nervous breakdown. "

Hmm, Dr. Sobel aint so naïve and via one of the funniest scenes on film - ever - Dr. Sobel visits Vitti to determine if he's mentally deranged and needs to be "released" for his own good or not.

After a determining poor Paul's indeed one cookie short of a Keeler Elve package, and through the magic of plot movement, he is released into the custody of Dr. Sobel (go with it huh?).

Back home Sobel's wife (Lisa Kudrow) is barely adapting to having a mobster in their home = more hilarity. But Paul, as gruff as he is in the suburban structure, is trying to go legit…

Vitti is set out into the real world of nine-to-fivers; he's a car dealer, a jewelry hawker, a Maitre 'D. But the cutey finds his nitch working on a television Mafia drama (a blatant Sopranos spoof). He's hired to teach the lead, Tony or Vito or something generically I-talian (Anthony LaPaglia), the Lee Strasberg methods of the "family." But what happened to the people trying to hit Vitti? Oh, they are still there- it's a mystery I tells ya.

Can Paul survive a family hit order? Can he go legit? Will he figure out why he's never become a cowboy or will he give in to his desires for bad-doing and remain a tough sonnovabitch?

Director Harold Ramis does comedy right. He should he's from the Second City comedic spawning pool and wrote just about every wildly hilarious film made for awhile; Animal House, Meatballs, Ghostbusters etc…etc. He's been doing comedy since he was sprung from the womb I think. Granted it's not that hard as a director when you have Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro - let's be honest. But Har's still a talent of tremendous proportions.

Speaking of t-a-l-e-n-t, let's delve into the greatness of Robert DeNiro. Besides slipping, with ease, 'tween drama and comedy, Bob's by far the sexiest man alive. I schlepped to NYC for a cocktail party in hopes of snagging a visual of him sipping martinis. Smitten? You betchya! I'd love to dip him in a warm mixture of toffee and butterscotch mansicle topping and slowly lick him clean…. meow! Bobby's also heading into year two of his Tribeca Int'l Film Festival - bravo! See, he's no mumaluke — he just plays one.

Billy Crystal is a comedy diamond. A treasure trove of hilarity! He has that ability to just make you pee your pants on command. Me at least. Sure, there's a few icky poo-poo things on his resume (forgive that My Giant faux pas) but the good outweighs the ugly and here he shines like Haley's Comet on a clear Caribbean night.

Lisa Kudrow revamps her role as Sobel's sarcastic but loyal bride Laura. She's blossoming into a major talent with a definite style. She does good in these roles. Though, I would like to see her stretch and stop with the "character" stuff - just once; bet she can really act.

Analyze That is an all-out laugh fest extravaganza folks. Run to da theater for this one.
Bring a brown paper bag with yas so you don't hyperventilate from the non-stop laughs. Is it new? Nah. But neither is Austin Powers and I can't get enough ah dat eeda.

Snack recommendation: Vats of Merlot and a nice rare Tribeca steak over lumpy mashed garlic potatoes…

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