There's one thing to say about this movie: "Robert De Niro as a gangster... in a comedy?" My reaction was the same as yours, but after seeing Analyze This, I can safely say this is one of his more appealing roles. De Niro basically makes fun of some of his "tough guy" roles, without allowing Analyze This to droop to the level of a slapstick comedy. Billy Crystal, giving a much improved performance over Father's Day, does what he does in a realistic and satisfying job. All in all, Analyze This stacks up to a brilliant and hilarious comedy.
What makes Analyze This so comical is the little things mounted throughout the movie, such as when Crystal hits a mob car and the trunk pops open, revealing a tied-up man. That scene in particular brought laughs from the crowd, and from me. On a larger scale, De Niro is obviously the most notable point of comedy. His crying is extremely hilarious, especially since he is a mob boss and has been in other movies.
Crystal is a more subtle character for humor. His nonchalant yet frustrated appearance and actions are great, and he carries the same level of charisma that he did in Forget Paris. His reactions to the many things that go wrong, including the dead man at his wedding, the fountain in his front yard, and the appearance of De Niro's top man at his other wedding are hilarious.
There is a reason for the "R" rating on Analyze This. Besides the frequent but not overused "F" word, there is an unrevealing but rather "effectual" sex scene, and two or three others where sex is briefly talked about. There was nothing different in respect to other movies, but they may be the only reason not to take kids to go see the movie. Still, any kid in junior high or older probably wouldn't have a problem (they never do; it's always the parents that complain). Seeing The Godfather probably wouldn't hurt... I have not seen it.
Analyze This is an enjoyable, laugh-out-loud comedy that most, if not all, will enjoy.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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