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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> March 1999 >> Analyze This

Analyze This

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
March 1999
IMDB Name:
Analyze This (1999)
Harold Ramis
comedy, crime
MPAA Rating:
R for language, a scene of sexuality and some violence.

The Accent

If you were listening to this, you'd hear a difference in my voice. The vocal patterns of the mafiosi are quite infectious. I know I was talking a little funny after watching Donnie Brasco, and I'm talking a little funny now. The movie got to me. It's good. De Niro's good. End of story.

Just Kidding

Not the end of the story, of course. Two worlds collide in Analyze This. On the one side, we have the comparatively sedate life of Ben Sobol, Billy Crystal as a psychiatrist. On the other side, we have Paul Vitti, Robert De Niro in yet another gangster role. Watching the two sides try to compromise is half of the movie's fun. Watching Chazz Palminteri tell one of his gangsters to get a dictionary to look up a common therapy buzzword is funny. A mafioso's generosity can take on funny forms, too, especially when seen from the other perspective.

Made Men

Leave out the small screen time allotted to the family surrounding the Crystal character, and you end up with a movie of gangsters. Judging by some of the names in the credits, you'd almost think they got some real ones. My favorite was Jelly, played by Joe Viterelli. The face answers the question about the name immediately, although I would've chosen Putty. Of course, a sound-alike of that name is already taken by Patrick Warburton. Anyway, Viterelli brings a certain innocent charm to his role, and it makes the proceedings a little more lighthearted.

Other Way

I suspect that one of the reasons I enjoyed the movie so much is it's willingness to avoid conventional approaches to the material. When Crystal has to pretend to be a mafioso, the traditional approach to the scene would be to have him slip up and be extremely nervous. Instead, the courage of a lion surges through him and he takes charge. It's funny just because it's different from the way every television sitcom would've played the same scene. I also appreciated the younger characters in the movie. They weren't idiots, and their dialogue was believable.

Rated R?

When I got home and checked the MPAA rating, I was surprised to discover that it was R. The language was nothing special, and the violence didn't seem that bad. Turns out the sex scene was too explicit. Funny how something almost forgettable has the ability to shut out a hefty audience segment.

Other Opinions

Copyright 1999-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.