Movie Review

Analyze This

Rated R for language, a scene of sexuality and some violence

Reviewed by: Debbie Blanton
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adult
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
103 min.
R

Starring: Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli, Chazz Palminteri, Bill Macy, Leo Rossi, Kyle Sabihy, Rebecca Schull, Molly Shannon / Director: Harold Ramis

Well, when you choose to go to a rated “R” movie you come to expect anything… and that’s usually what you get. In this case, what you get is a gangster movie with a lot of violence, gunfire, offensive sexual remarks, and a LOT of profanity mixed in with a lot of funny moments as well.

Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro) is one of New York’s most powerful gangster who has grown up in the Mob life (his father was a leader in the Mob as well until he was gunned down when Paul was only 12 years old). But when it becomes time for Paul Vitti to assume his role as the leader of his crime family, he suddenly starts having trouble breathing. He can’t sleep; he’s distant and preoccupied around his wife and kids; his mistress wants to know why his “performance” is lagging; and his loyal henchmen wonder at his suddenly anxious behavior.

Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) is a divorced psychiatrist with a young son (Kyle Sahiby) and a fiancée (Lisa Kudrow) he’s about to marry. He’s a nice guy and a loving dad who is dealing with problems with his own father who is a highly successful and self-absorbed psychiatrist himself. Because Ben doesn’t want to be like his father, he shuns the spotlight by enduring a patient list full of dull, boringly neurotic complainers without a serious challenge among them. But, this ordinary life of his takes an interesting turn when, one day, he rearends a car… which just happens to be driven by Jelly (Joe Viterelli), Paul Vitti’s bodyguard. The henchman of course aren’t interested in filing an insurance claim, for obvious reasons, but Ben offers Jelly his business card anyway.

Paul Vitti confides to his henchman that he’s considering finding a therapist, and the ever-loyal Jelly offers his boss Ben Sobol’s card. Vitti immediately seeks out the only shrink he’s ever heard of—Ben Sobol—and demands that Ben cure his panic attacks. Immediately. Completely. Before the impending crime-family meeting, at which Vitti will have to face the other Mob leaders and demonstrate that he has what it takes to be a Don.

Ben wants no part of this. He’s looking forward to a quiet wedding and a peaceful family life, but Paul keeps following him and will not leave him alone until he helps him (Think “What About Bob” meets “The Godfather”).

Despite Lisa Kudrow’s minimal but rather annoying role, the acting was pretty good but this was definitely overshadowed by all of the profanity. There was gunfire, 2 actual showings of murders taking place and other scenes of violence. There were 2 uses of God’s name in vain among the other 25+ uses of profanity… let’s put it this way: every other word seemed to be the “F” word and this became rather annoying in itself. Ben’s son uses profanity as well and there is no correction/discipline of this on the part of his father. Although there was no actual nudity, there WAS a scene showing Paul and his Mistress in the act of having sex (movements, sounds, etc…) and they do show Ben and his fiancee in bed together. There are also several references to men’s genitals that were particularly offensive as well as dicussions about sexual performance.

The one thing I DID like about the movie was the cameo appearance by Tony Bennett.

From a Christian perspective there weren’t really any redeeming qualities about this movie beyond the fact that Paul Vitti makes an effort to change his ways. It’s definitely an “adult” movie but I think a majority of Christian adults out there would probably not sit through this movie, and it’s something you definitely want to think about before sending your teenagers or children with another adult to see it. Personally, if I hadn’t situated myself right in the center of a full row I would have walked out.

Year of Release—1999

Viewer Comments
At least 83 “f” words (3 used with “mother,” 2 used sexually), 21 “s” words, 6 terms using male genitals (“pr*ck,” “d*ck” and “c*cksucker”), 1 slang term for breasts (“t*ts”), 4 asses (1 used with “hole”), 2 hells, 2 S.O.B.’s, and 3 uses of “Oh my God,” 2 each of “G-damn,” “Swear to God” and “My God,” and 1 use each of “For Christ’s sakes,” “Jesus,” “Oh God” and “For God’s sakes” as exclamations. I pass on seeing this one!
—Ronni, age 36
I enjoyed this movie on an entertainment basis more than the reviewer. I happen to like plots based around psychology with the counselor/annoying patient approach. I thought Analyze This pulled this off very well with a lot of laughs and wit. However, I agree strongly with the offensiveness rating. This movie is foul. At least it doesn’t glorify the mob, and the main character changes his ways. If you’re screening offensive movies, this is a good one to avoid. The people I watched Analyze This with also thought it was hilarious, but I don’t want to see another movie this vulgar for a long time. Why can’t Hollywood and big name actors do quality material like this without steeping so low?
—Todd Adams, age 31
This is not a children’s show but if you are really bored and really want to see a funny movie this fits the bill. The show is similar to the movie What About Bob Where in that the psychiatrist couldn’t get rid of his patient for even a few days. Christian values are most certainly not exemplified… This is not a must see but if you must see it just go with the usually Hollywood guard up.
—Bob Clark, age 35
…Christians should avoid this movie. There is a sex scene involved, while no private parts get revealed, it is real obvious what is going on. Furthermore, they talk about it later! If you do go see it, be sure to bring ear plugs as the language is horrendous (you could argue that the language is required since it is the mafia). Of course, there is violence. (gunfire killing people, kidnapping, lots of “I’ll kill you” threats, and a poor fellow that killed by thrown out of a tall building.)

Billy Crystal’s character was divorced from his first wife and Mr. Vitti has a girlfriend in addition to his wife. About the only major vice avoided by this movie was drugs (although alcohol consumption was apparent). Interestingly, the acting by the two main stars was well done.

A better avenue for Mr. Vitti to have persued was God. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” I Peter 5:6-7 (NIV).

God can easily handle our anxiety. Further, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:6-7 (NIV)… this movie is hilariously funny in spots, Christians should probably avoid this one. There is way too many negative aspects to offset the humor…
—Tim Emmerich