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SYNOPSIS:
New York mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert DeNiro) is having some unfamiliar experiences: shortness of breath, crying fits, difficulty-ahem-performing. In short, Vitti's got stress. Panic attacks – hard to take for a man who is used to giving ‘em. To help with the problem, he goes to psychiatrist Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) and is impressed. The mild-mannered doctor is expected to be at Vitti's service 24 hours a day, a severe inconvenience as Ben is preparing to wed his fiancée (Lisa Kudrow).

"Don’t analyse this, just enjoy it. The whole idea is to use the situation and the characters for laughs, but there is just enough of an underlying dramatic element – and enough performance power – to pull it off. Some of the dialogue is like a linked banter for a sitcom, but it’s funny so you go along with it. The cliches, in characters, settings and things like opera underscoring a machine gun hit on an Italian restaurant, serve to settle the audience into a familiar landscape so the jokes stand out. Aussie DoP Dryburgh’s photography is excellent (I mention this not to be patriotic but because I hope you’d like to know) and DeNiro and Crystal deliver more than expected from a concept that looks like a one note samba. And speaking of music, that’s pretty easy on the ear, too. Analyze This is a great Saturday afternoon movie with which to disconnect from the madding crowd – it may even be therapy."
Andrew L. Urban

"Fresh, funny and frivolous, Analyze This is a delight! Much more than a one-gag movie, it cleverly combines wit, slapstick and glib one liners which are tossed around as casually as a light crepe. In fact much of the comedy is quite sophisticated, enticing an emotional response that could find you laughing one minute, crying the next. The balance between drama and comedy is superbly managed, while Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro are dynamite together. Complementing each other beautifully, Crystal and DeNiro each carves beautifully defined characters, rich in complexity and nuance. They are a joy to watch as they expertly deliver lots of business, all the while appearing to be having a whale of a time in this somewhat unlikely buddy movie. In fact, the whole film is great escapism and can easily lift the spirits and allow the funny bone to ignite. Treated as a real gangster movie, the lines between reality and fantasy are clearly drawn; humour set against violence never offends. And it's played for real, not for laughs. The laughs come from character-driven situations, which are far more effective. There are psychiatrist gags, gangster gags; the humour is shuffled delectably throughout. Joe Viterelli and Chazz Palminteri are superb as DeNiro's right hand man and top gangster honcho respectively, with a welcome surprise appearance by the wonderful Tony Bennett. Directed with flair with a snazzy, jazzy soundtrack, forget the analysis, just buy a ticket and laugh your socks off."
Louise Keller

"In studio terms, this is what they call a concept comedy, a film written around an idea based on the persona of a star or two. There's not a whole lot wrong with that process as long as the concept is well enough developed to be sustained throughout. Analyze This is certainly a funny movie - for the most part. At the same time, it resembles an extended TV sitcom, with plenty of amusing vignettes minus the laugh track. It's a flashy comedy with lots of amusing set pieces, but it's ultimately a forgettable piece of silliness that proves diverting. The film does boast a wonderfully comedic turn by De Niro who manages to pull back just enough to avoid self-parody, yet he uses his persona to beautiful advantage. Crystal is less effective, underplaying his role to excess and only coming to life in the film's last act. Lisa Kudrow is wasted here and delivers another extension of dull Friends schtick. Highlights of the movie include a delightful homage to The Godfather, and a funny moment featuring De Niro releasing aggression. The film is full of such moments, but that's what it is: a movie based on a fun premise that was never fully thought out. "
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

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"It felt as if we were .. trapeze artists flying through space and having to catch each other."
Billy Crystal TELLS of working with Robert De Niro

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(US)

CAST: Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal, Joe Viterelli, Lisa Kudrow, and Chazz Palminteri

DIRECTOR: Harold Ramis

PRODUCER: Jane Rosenthal, Paula Weinstein

SCRIPT: Peter Tolan and Harold Ramis and Kenneth Lonergan

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stuart Dryburgh

EDITOR: Christopher Tellefse

MUSIC: Trevor Jones, Howard Shore

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Wynn Thomas

RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 11, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: October 6, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment







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