Monday, August 29, 2011
Movie of the Week
MY COUSIN VINNY (1992)
Starring- Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Fred Gwynne
If you are looking for a hard-core, suspenseful courtroom drama- this isn't it. It is a very funny, somewhat suspenseful courtroom comedy that won Marisa Tomei a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Mona Lisa Vito, fiance of the main character, Vincent LaGuardia Gambini (Pesci). Ms. Vito and her lawyer beau, Vinny are sent to rural Alabama to get Vinny's cousin and his friend off for a murder that they didn't commit.
This movie showcases the talents of Pesci, as he blends his wiseguy persona with a touch of heart and humor in a true fish out of water story. Vinny has no background in trial law and is up against damning evidence, a solid prosecutor and a judge with a grudge against him. The judge is portrayed by T.V.'s Herman Munster, Fred Gwynne, in a rare, but hilarious film role. Gwynne and Pesci's scenes are some of the best in the film, as Vinny tries to sidestep the judge's no-nonsense demeanor with his Brooklyn bullshit.
While the entire cast is very solid, the real kudos go to Tomei who steals every scene she is in. Her best and most memorable scene is on the witness stand, as she rattles off her vast knowledge of cars. She is all at once cute, charming, crass and trashy. The story unfolds somewhat predictably, but it doesn't matter because the audience is having so much fun and enjoying the jokes that are mixed in with a few sweet moments. My Cousin Vinny is Twelve Angry Men meets Goodfellas meets Night Court. If you see it, you'll know what I mean.
Things to watch for-
Bruce McGill as the Sheriff
Lisa's pink camera
"Dead on balls accurate?"
"It's an industry term."