ANALYZE THIS (1999)
Starring Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Chazz Palmenteri, Joseph Rigano, Joe Viterelli, Richard C. Castellano, Molly Shannon, Max Casella, Bill Macy, Rebecca Schull, Pat Cooper, Leo Rossi and Tony Bennett.
Screenplay by Peter Tolan, Harold Ramis and Kenneth Lonergan.
Directed by Harold Ramis.
Distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures. Rated R. 103 minutes.
Okay, deep dark secret time here. Don’t think less of me as a man after you read this. but I’ve never seen one of Robert De Niro’s gangster movies. Not Godfather II, not Goodfellas, not Casino, not A Bronx Tale, not Heat, not Ronin. Hell, I haven’t even seen Taxi Driver or Raging Bull. So I am not the targeted audience for this good-hearted comedy.
Maybe I am even missing a rich vein of satire that bubbles through it. But, as a De Niro Cosa Nostra novice, I have to say that Analyze This is a nice, funny movie, nothing more, nothing less.
The storyline of a psychologist strong-armed into treating a panicked wise guy seems to be big now (it’s also the idea behind the HBO series The Sopranos) but it is a clever conceit.
Billy Crystal gives his best big-screen work in years (probably in the 90s!) Lisa Kudrow continues to be a comic secret weapon who swipes every scene she shows up in. De Niro is fine in a role that it seems he could play in his sleep.
This movie certainly will not win any awards, but for what it is — a pleasant diversion — it passes with flying colors.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright © 1999 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved. Posted: March 5, 1999.