Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Moonlighting on Your Honeymoon

Analyze This (1999) on IMDb

Plot Overview

To the background music of “When You're Smiling,” mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro) narrates about the big gangster gathering of 1957 when “the whole commission meets face to face” in upstate (Apalachin) New York. The meeting resulted in cloture and dispersal when the feds raided the place. That one was to divvy up their spoils; the one coming up is a “survival meeting” (“Every­thing's changing. We gotta change with the times.”)

Psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal) has been “alone eight years.” He's getting married with or with­out his shrink father's attendance. Distracted he has a minor auto accident rear-ending a Lincoln driven by the Mafia king­pin's right-hand-man Jelly (Joe Viterelli) who doesn't want Dr. Ben (“Let me give you my card”) to call the cops. When shortly after this Vitti witnesses a hit on king­pin Dominic Manetta (Joe Rigano), he more or less loses his marbles and Jelly gives him Ben's card so he can get help. He becomes Dr. Ben's patient by imposition.

Ben's Florida ceremony with beautiful Laura MacNamara (Lisa Kudrow) has cloture when a mob hit man crashes the wedding to sleep with the fishes. The wedding gets rescheduled. A second try finds cloture when the minister is hurried along by a mob messenger requiring Ben in a hurry. Dr. Ben as Vitti's consigliore helps him find “closure” in the middle of the mob meeting. Says rival gang chief­tain Primo Sidone (Chazz Palminteri) to his aide, “You get a dictionary and find out what this closure is. If that's what he's going to hit us with, I want to know what it is.”


This movie fits the scheme of Psalm 32: Vitti eventually finds closure (Psalm 32:1-2). He'd started out holding it all in and having panic attacks (Psalm 32:3-4). Then under the gentle prodding of the shrink in a priest-like role, Vitti acknowledged his anger issues with his (deceased) father (Psalm 32:5). He showed the efficacy of prayer (“Oh, Mother of Christ, give me the strength to get through this”) and received divine protection from a hail of bullets and various other troubles, to sing of his deliverance (Psalm 32:6-7). It's as if God had guided him to the shrink (Psalm 32:8) and otherwise.

There is a repeated theme of, (Psalm 32:9) “Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no under­standing: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” A horse or mule in formation must be reined in at times so it doesn't impinge upon the beast ahead of it. When driving an auto one must like­wise maintain a safe following distance and be aware of what's going on around him so he may antici­pate stops or slow-downs. That's the gist of this verse as applied to life.

In the movie Dr. Ben Sobel had to reprimand his teenage son Michael (Kyle Sabihy), “That's it! I am sealing the vent in your room. You cannot listen to my sessions.” He should have known not to listen in in the first place. Ben him­self might have anticipated some reluctance of his father to interrupt his business to attend another Ben wedding. “Dad, you're not coming to my wedding?” ¶Dr. Isaac Sobel (Bill Macy): “We wanna be there, but I've got three book signings next week­end. I can't piss off these big book­stores! If I cancel, they stick me down on the bottom shelves.” His book is titled: Tell Me What You FEEL. Tell Me What You WANT. Ben feels lonely. He wants a big wedding. I suppose.

Ben's patient Caroline (Molly Shannon) whining about her loser ex-boy­friend who rejected her wonders if she should try to get him back. Dr. Sobel discourages her, saying the restraining order is a bad sign. Jelly interrupting a session with another patient comes prepared to pay him to take a hike. Ben prefers that the mob make appointments like every­body else: “I do not appreciate it when some­one sneaks into my hotel room and kidnaps me in the middle of the night. I have a life, Mr. Vitti, I have a family, and I have a serious practice, and I don't have time for your BS!”

With a little forethought one can anticipate blowback and moderate his approach accordingly. Dr. Ben Sobel: “You don't hear the word no a lot, do you?” ¶Boss Paul Vitti: “Well, I hear it all the time, only it's more like, ‘No. Please, no!’”

In the end the bad guys get sorted out and the “good” guys are happy. Tony Bennett sings, “I've Got the World on a String.” And the psalmist closes on a positive note (Psalm 32:10-11.)

Production Values

This delightful satire, “” (1999) was directed by Harold Ramis. The screen­play was written by Kenneth Lonergan, Peter Tolan, and Ramis. It stars Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, and Lisa Kudrow. Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro worked well together. The gorgeous Lisa Kudrow did a good job although hers was a back­ground part. Joe Viterelli played his part well as a bumbling mobster. The rest of the cast did well, too.

MPAA rated it R for language, a scene of sexuality and some violence. Lounge music included a live performance by Tony Bennett. The dialogue was snappy with perfect timing. The comedy was refreshingly elevated. “The Godfather” was shame­lessly parodied.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

I got a kick out of “Analyze This.” If you like satire, good acting, and a well-written script, this one's for you.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.