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Analyze This

DOWN & DIRTY:
Comedy: A psychiatrist reluctantly takes on a new client -- a mobster who's suffering from anxiety attacks.

NITTY GRITTY:
Dr. Ben Sobel (BILLY CRYSTAL) is a New York psychiatrist whose only concerns are his teenage son, Michael (KYLE SABIHY), his bestselling author/father of whom he's jealous, and Laura MacNamara (LISA KUDROW), a TV reporter, to whom he's soon getting married.

This all changes when he accidentally rear-ends a car driven by some mobsters. The trunk pops open and there's a body tied up inside. The mobsters quickly close the trunk and try to move on. But Sobel, fearing an insurance lawsuit and not knowing they're mobsters, gives them his business card.

Turns out they work for Paul Vitti (ROBERT DE NIRO), one of New York city's most powerful gangsters. Vitti's about to take over the crime family after his mentor was gunned down by a rival gang.

The problem is, Vitti's suddenly afflicted with panic attacks. Knowing that his rivals, including Primo Sindone (CHAZZ PALMINTERI), will discover his weakness and try to take advantage, Vitti reluctantly goes to Sobel for help.

Sobel is reluctant to take on Vitti as one of his patients, but after a little persuasion, agrees to see what he can do for him before a big meeting of all of the mob bosses.

THE ENDING:
The Feds take a recording of Vitti and edit it to make it sound like he wants to kill Dr. Sobel. They play it for Sobel to convince him to work with them and find out information about the big mob meeting.

Vitti takes Dr. Sobel down by the river and threatens to shoot him because he thinks he has 'ratted' him out to the Feds. Sobel gets Vitti to admit that his anxiety attacks are all due to the fact that his mobster father was killed and the young Vitti saw the killers coming and didn't warn his father. It's a breakthrough for Vitti. He spares Sobel's life, but paid assassins show up and try to kill Vitti.

Vitti sends Dr. Sobel in his place to the big mob meeting. There, Sobel is challenged by Primo Sindone. Sobel makes a hilarious speech as Vitti's 'consigliari'. Sindone gets angry and is about to shoot Sobel when Vitti shows up. He announces that he is quitting the 'family'.

The Feds raid the meeting and there is a big shootout. Sobel visits Vitti in prison, who got 18 months, and Vitti thanks the doctor for helping him.

Dr. Sobel finally goes home to his new wife with the real Tony Bennett and his orchestra serenading them outside.

WHAT EVERYONE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT:
Joe Viterelli as Vitti's right-hand man, 'Jelly.' He has some of the funniest lines and steals the movie from DeNiro and Crystal.

 

 
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Movie posters courtesy of The Nostalgia Factory.