ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  harold ramis

RATED  -  r

GENRE  -  comedy

LENGTH  -  95 minutes

RELEASED  -  6 december 2002

DISTRIBUTOR  -  warner bros.

OFFICIAL SITE  -  analyze that

analyze that - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from analyze that at

buy the dvd from analyze that at

mobster paul vitti is released into dr. ben sobol's care, where more chaos ensues.

was originally to be released in 2003, and was moved up to 2002.


picture from analyze that

picture from analyze that

picture from analyze that


two out of four possible stars

Crass, loud, yet filled wall-to-wall with jokes, Analyze That is not as fresh as its predecessor, but the movie will probably have many audience members in stitches anyway. It seems that making fun of Italians on screen is still a hilarious thing to do, even though it's been popular for years now. It might be speaking badly of Robert De Niro's career to say that seeing him sing songs from West Side Story doesn't show him in the most positive light, but whatever the man's dramatic abilities, his penchant for comedy is evident in this film.

From portraying the ultimate mobster in the second Godfather movie, to playing the funniest goodfella to make it to the screen in this film, De Niro certainly has a lock on this genre. He is so identified with being a mobster that it's a credit to his talent that he can play other types of roles. But with Analyze That, De Niro is the main reason to catch this movie. While the other man on the movie poster creates a few well-placed laughs, the audience will laugh the most when De Niro's on the screen. Sadly, Billy Crystal has to say the same joke: "I'm grieving. It's a process," at least four times in the film.

It's funny the first time. And it garners a laugh the second. But when he says the same line for a third time, and even a fourth, it just seems to become retread territory. Were the screenwriters so out of jokes for Crystal that they had to recycle the same ones within a two-hour period? Crystal's character is effective when he's reciting a fresh joke, but his character wanes severely when he lapses back into something he's already said a few minutes before. But though the screenwriters had a few momentary lapses, the comic timing and chemistry between Crystal and De Niro is the same as it was in the first film.

And that chemistry is what made Analyze This a success. Though the story could have been brought to the screen with any number of actors, it was a good move that the casting director chose Mr. Mobster, Robert De Niro, with Billy Crystal, the most self-deprecating Jewish actor in Hollywood, to portray these two roles. They are so completely opposite in temperament that the only possible result from their duo is comedy. And though the film gives a heart-felt stab at creating some character development to hang around with the plot, the purpose of this film is not really an exercise in character.

It's to make people laugh. Or even howl, in some cases. Because in some scenes, the laughter from the audience may indeed drown out the dialogue. Especially after anything said by Joe Viterelli, who plays De Niro's driver and sidekick, "Jelly," is heard on the soundtrack. Viterelli has an exact sense of comic timing and his delivery is nothing short of hilarious. Though he only appears in a few scenes, he still portrays one of the best characters in the film. And Anthony LaPaglia, playing a mob boss on a television series (a parody of "The Sopranos") does a dead on imitation of De Niro while De Niro's standing right in front of him that is ridiculous but funny.

Kudos to the producer (or perhaps the director) for hiring a woman to head up the cinematography. The male dominated world of camera operation is dealt a blow by Ellen Kuras, who does a fine job through the lens. Director Harold Ramis, whose role in Ghostbusters might be something he may never escapes from, seems to have had a competent editor as well, as both the editing and cinematography are invisible enough to give the actors a full stage. Though it's possible that a number of unscripted jokes made it into the final film, courtesy of some spontaneous dialogue from De Niro and Crystal. (A note on this: stay for the credits)

Aside from some rather crass penis jokes that both De Niro and Crystal seem to think necessary elements in recent films, the rest of the humor in Analyze That is truly funny. The two hours spent in the theater for this one are well worth it if your goal in buying a ticket is to laugh at some inane jokes and a few talented actors, this movie will deliver. In point of fact, there are several opportunities to laugh out loud during this film. Intelligent or no, Analyze That is still a funny movie and worth checking out by fans and non-fans alike.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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