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Analyse This

New York’s most powerful gangster is about to get in touch with his feelings. _YOU_ try telling him his 50 minutes are up. 

Year: 1999 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Paul Vitti (De Niro) is a New York mob boss who hasn’t been feeling his usual belligerent self. It seems that the day-to-day stresses of being a big shot in the Mafia have taken a toll on Vitti’s nerves. In addition to a number of disquieting panic attacks, he has been breaking into tears whenever he sees an overly sentimental television commercial for mutual funds. This makes him realise that he will likely lose control of the organisation if he can’t maintain his tough exterior.

As a result of an automobile mishap with one of Vitti’s hired goons (Joe Viterelli), Ben Sobol (Crystal) winds up being the unlucky psychiatrist who treats Vitti - the one who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Besot by stress and anxiety, Vitti imposes himself on to Sobel’s life in the most intrusive way possible, pushing the good doctor’s sanity to the edge. At first Sobol is averse to treating such a notorious figure, but Vitti’s powers of coercive persuasion quickly win the psychiatrist over. Pretty soon, Sobol ends up being on-call twenty-four hours a day to handle Vitti’s problems, and he finds it difficult to juggle the demands of his newest patient with his upcoming wedding to a beautiful television reporter Laura MacNamara (Kudrow). To Vitti, a wedding isn’t a worth while excuse to treating his insecurities.

Meanwhile, there are several other parties watching Vitti and Sobol’s movements with great interest. Sindone (Palminteri) is Vitti’s chief rival, and he will use any means at his disposal to become head of the organisation, including an assassination attempt at an upcoming Mafia get-together. To further complicate matters, the FBI has caught on to Sobol’s newest patient, and is threatening to indict Sobol on a series of charges unless he co-operates by wearing a wire. Of course, Vitti gets wise to the meddling of the FBI, and becomes convinced that Sobol must ‘disappear’ because he knows too much.

Not following the typical plotline of a Mafia film, this is a very funny comedy, which is well worth seeing.

Aarti Mahbubani

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Screenings of this film:

1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Spring Term (35mm)