3 1/2 Stars
Analyze This smartly uses two decades of collective assumptions about Robert DeNiro’s tough guy mafiso persona and turns those troupes on their heads. This is an extremely enjoyable comedy that perfectly straddles the line between farce and action with two talented lead performances. Crystal and De Niro make for a surprisingly effective comedic duo.
Robert De Niro is Paul Vitti, a powerful Mafia racketeer who suffers from panic attacks. When Vitti needs help dealing with his role in the “family,” unlucky shrink Dr. Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal) is given just days to resolve Vitti’s emotional crisis and turn him into a happy, well-adjusted gangster.
Anaylze This would make a compelling double feature paired with Goodfellas. In an odd coincidence this film and the iconic HBO series, The Sopranos, both premiered in the same year. Analyze This is purely interested in looking at the material through a comedic lens and it finds plenty of moments to mine for laughter.
Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow