Analyze This (1999)

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Review by Elina of Films and Coke

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Plot: What if one of gangland’s Dons suddenly started having anxiety attacks because of past problems. When he decides to see a shrink, what can he tell him without giving away the gang’s secrets and reveal too much about his own situations? Add to the fact that this type of individual is used to everyone catering to his whims and he expects the psychiatrist to do the same, neglecting his regular practice and his attempts to get married. (Source: IMDb.com)

It seems to me like like everything made in the 90s was exactly what it seemed to be. And sometimes, that is really good. Especially if paired with an everything sucks–mood and Robert De Niro. Let’s be honest, he was awesome. Now, I’m relatively new to the magical world of De Niro but can still easily consider him as one of the best actors there are. In Analyze This, De Niro plays a gangster, a role that he’s not unfamiliar with. He talks like a gangster, moves like a gangster and has the attitude of a gangster.

He’s hilarious, honestly. “Do you know who I am?” “Yes.” “No, you don’t.” “No, I don’t” is one of the most important exchanges in the beginning of the film and not only is De Niro comedic, but he also manages to somehow be intimidating out of all that. He keeps a perfect balance between these two and for that, he gets a full mark. I can’t say it’s De Niro at his best since I haven’t really seen him at his best (I kinda feel Tyson and Mark are gonna kick me out of the blogathon for that, heh heh – I promise to work on that!) The only thing, in fact, he doesn’t excel at is crying – maybe it’s meant to look like that but the crying was just fake.

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But De Niro, as good as he is, couldn’t pull that film off all by himself. The final element that ties all of the film together is Joe Viterelli as Jelly, the goofy bodyguard, who adds a layer of something both De Niro’s and Billy Crystal’s characters can’t quite do. It’s a kind of tenderness hard to explain but easy to see in the film. Crystal is good, however, and I absolutely loved him at the mobster meeting session where he completely adapted to being a mobster while following the advice from the real guy: “be as vague as possible”. This was one of these scenes where I couldn’t stop laughing – unrealistic? Yes. But funny as hell still.

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The main problem in this film? The freaking ending. It’s, again, typically nineties – it’s cheesily happy. But the problem isn’t the sappy nature per se, the problem is how unrealistic it is. Alright, maybe the entirety of the film is unrealistic but even for this – or, actually, especially for that world, it just doesn’t make sense. It’s the kind of ending that has to make your insides warm for the end credits – but leaves you with the nagging feeling after that.

I’ve never given a rating for a film but if I must, then we’ll say 7/10 – considering the film gave what it was supposed to – one point off for the fact it didn’t give anything more and two for the sappy ending.

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30 thoughts on “Analyze This (1999)

  1. Nice review Elina and thanks for getting involved. This is a rating and analysis I’d pretty much agree on. It does have its faults but it’s a helluva lot fun. Crystal is always comedy gold and it’s fabulous to see DeNiro take a pop at himself.

  2. Thanks for joining in Elina. My fault about images, Mark is picking up my slack whilst I change nappies and clean up sick so any faults lie with me and not sending them to him in time.

    As far as the film goes, I really liked it! And the sequel…….just more of the same really. 🙂

    • Can’t say I beg it for a very memorable film either. The sequel is seriously unnecessary and I’m definitely skipping it, even with De Niro and all. Would rather rewatch Raging Bull or something.

  3. Good review Elina. It’s what practically started the whole “De Niro mugging for the camera and doing comedy” phase, and while that’s definitely more of a negative than a positive, at least some outings were somewhat respectable. This one included, however, that sequel was just total bollocks.

  4. I got this free with my first ever DVD player! My stock phrase (that I’ve used in these comments before) is that this is the film that THE SOPRANOS could’ve been.

    You are right to say that De Niro and Crystal needed Joe Viterelli to make the comedy work. Good review.

    Followed!

  5. Good review. 🙂 Been a long time since I watched this. I remember it being fun but forgettable. Billy Crystal was my favorite thing about it. (Sorry – De Niro was good too! 😉 I just love Billy Crystal…)

  6. The majority of 90’s movies really are quite structured, aren’t they? I hate cheesy endings. I like endings where every character gets a subtitle about where they are now in their life à la Animal House, or where pretty much everybody dies à la Reservoir Dogs.

    • Very. I think that’s why I’m so cinematically uneducated – I find most older (or 90s) films, no matter how good they are, terribly unpredictable. But yet I think cheesy endings are good sometimes. They keep things calm.

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