My Cousin Vinny (1992) / Comedy-Thriller
MPAA Rated: R for language
Running Time: 120 min.
Cast: Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio, Mitchell Whitfield, Fred Gwynne
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Screenplay: Dale Launer
Review published June 11, 1999
Two New York teens travelling through Alabama stop by a convenience store to pick up some grub and later are pulled over for the murder of the convenience store clerk. Not being able to afford a good attorney, they discover there is a lawyer in the family that will take the case for them, Vinny (Pesci, Home Alone). The problem with Vinny is he is an Italian Brooklyn tough guy with no real trial experience taking on his first murder case in a state that dislikes Yankees like him. Boy, are the boys ever in trouble...
My Cousin Vinny is so likeable, it really helps to cover up that at it is actually not a very good movie. Credit goes to the terrific casting, the well-portrayed characters, and a quite a few funny moments sprinkled throughout the movie. Marisa Tomei (Playing for Keeps, The Paper) is great, even if she was given a very generous Oscar for Best Supporting actress, and it's good to see Fred "Hermann Munster" Gwynn (Fatal Attraction) in a big role again. This is also director Jonathan Lynn's (Clue, The Distinguished Gentleman) best movie, which really isn't saying a hell of a lot.
Definitely worth watching for those in the mood for a light comedy, and although it's rated "R", it's only a few "F" words away from being a family movie.
©1999 Vince Leo