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Analyze This (1999)

R | | Comedy, Crime | 5 March 1999 (USA)
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A comedy about a psychiatrist whose number one-patient is an insecure mob boss.

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(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
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4,338 ( 177)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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'50s Gangster (as Kresimir Novakovic)
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Young Vitti Sr.
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Joseph Rigano ...
Dominic Manetta (as Joe Rigano)
...
Richard C. Castellano ...
Jimmy Boots (as Richard Castellano)
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Nicky Shivers
Frank Pietrangolare ...
Kyle Sabihy ...
...
Dr. Isaac Sobel
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Storyline

Ben Sobol, Psychiatrist, has a few problems: His son spies on his patients when they open up their heart, his parents don't want to attend his upcoming wedding and his patients' problems don't challenge him at all. Paul Vitti, Godfather, has a few problems as well: Sudden anxiety attacks in public, a certain disability to kill people and his best part ceasing service when needed. One day, Ben unfortunately crashes into one of Vitti's cars. The exchange of Ben's business card is followed by a business visit of Don Paul Vitti himself, who wants to be free of inner conflict within two weeks, before all the Mafia Dons meet. Now, Ben Sobol feels somewhat challenged, as his wedding is soon, his only patient keeps him busy by regarding Ben's duty as a 24 hour standby and the feds keep forcing him to spy on Paul Vitti. And how do you treat a patient who usually solves problems with a gun? Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

New York's most powerful gangster is about to get in touch with his feelings. YOU try telling him his 50 minutes are up.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, a scene of sexuality and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 March 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Analízame  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,383,507 (USA) (5 March 1999)

Gross:

$106,694,016 (USA) (16 July 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The water fountain Paul Vitti gives Dr. Sobel as a wedding present is 40 feet tall and has a diameter of 24 feet. See more »

Goofs

Jelly and then the Doctor say 'consiglieri' meaning the doctor's would-be position in Vitti's family. However, the correct form would be 'consigliere' that is an advisor in Italian. The word 'consiglieri' is the plural from 'consigliere'. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Ben Sobel: What happened with your wife last night?
Boss Paul Vitti: I wasn't with my wife, I was with my girlfriend.
Dr. Ben Sobel: Are you having marriage problems?
Boss Paul Vitti: No.
Dr. Ben Sobel: Then why do you have a girlfriend?
Boss Paul Vitti: What, are you gonna start moralizing on me?
Dr. Ben Sobel: No, I'm not, I'm just trying to understand, why do you have a girlfriend?
Boss Paul Vitti: I do things with her I can't do with my wife.
Dr. Ben Sobel: Why can't you do them with your wife?
Boss Paul Vitti: Hey, that's the mouth she kisses my kids goodnight with! What are you, crazy?
See more »

Connections

References Jaws (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Gloria
from "Messe Agatange"
Performed by Jean-Patrice Brosse/Concerto Rococo/Choeur Gregorien Antiphona
Courtesy of Arion - Paris
By Arrangement with Allegro Corporation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Don's Analyst.
26 March 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Robert De Niro has one of the best faces in Hollywood. And by that, I mean that a simple facial contortion can send the audience into a fit of laughter, or send a chill down their spine. In "Taxi Driver," his devilish, wide-toothed smile portrayed a sense of fascination and pleasure -- his character was being bombarded with images that made him feel happy, and almost hysterical, in a strange sort of way. When he stared into that mirror and asked whom we were talkin' to, he smiled because he was sick and liked the idea of having the control, and enjoyed picturing the end result.

In "Analyze This," when he stares at Billy Crystal with his iconic "Who you talkin' to?" glare, it is not out of pleasure, but out of sheer amazement. In short, he is asking everyone in the room (and the audience) if he's the only one who's seeing what's going on, and the complete absurdity of it all. Watching De Niro's face in "Analyze This," and listening to the accompanying comical speeches, is the pure pleasure of the film. He steals the show.

Paul Vitti (De Niro) is having problems. Lately he has been unable to work up enough will power to kill hostages, gain an erection, and has been found crying for forty minutes after watching bittersweet commercials on television. Normally this might be considered normal (for the most part, at least), but the problem is that Vitti is a Mob Boss in New York City, meaning that if he can't muster up enough strength to carry out his duties, word of his weaknesses will travel, and he'll soon find himself sleeping with the fishes.

Ben Sobel (Crystal) is a frustrated, failing psychologist trying to raise a son on his own, and keep a relationship with his girlfriend (Lisa Kudrow) from falling apart. When he smashes into the back of Vitti's car, the Mafia kingpin's right-hand-man, Jelly (the late Joe Viterelli), asks him to help out his employer.

Sobel is of course quite reluctant to begin practice on New York's most infamous Mafia figure, but reluctantly does so after being threatened. ("You know who I am?" "Yes." "No you don't." "No I don't." "Have you read about me in the papers?" "Yes." "No you haven't." "I don't even get the paper.")

Meanwhile, a reunion of all the powerful Mafia figures in New York looms ominously nearer, and Sobel finds himself being targeted by the FBI, as well as professional hit men who find themselves being thrown out of hotel windows by Vitti. "Let me guess, he just jumped?" Sobel asks. Vitti is eager to use this as an explanation for the incident.

"Analyze This" is directed by Harold Ramis, the man who crafted "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray, and who also played Murray's best friend in Ivan Reitman's "Stripes" (1981), about two idiots who join the Army in search of women and quick cash. Here, in what is literally one of his roughest and filthiest films, Ramis is able to poke fun at all the most iconic stereotypes of Italian-American Mafia figures. There's even a great dream sequence that mimics "The Godfather," in which Sobel wanders towards a fruit stand to buy some oranges, and finds himself assassinated by two hit men, with De Niro doing his best impersonation of cry-baby Fredo. Later, when recounting his story to Vitti in a church, the Mafia kingpin asks him, "I was Fredo? I don't think so."

You will find yourself appreciating much more of "Analyze This" if you are familiar with its content. It may not be labeled as such, but in its essence it is a spoof of the last century's best gangster films, borrowing its plot from "The Don's Analyst" and benefiting from a wonderfully surprising (and humorous) performance by De Niro, who stretched his funny bones with Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy" and Neil Jordan's "We're No Angels," but masters the feat of effective facial features here. It does indeed help to know a bit about Mafia movies before you see "Analyze This," but even if you don't, you're still guaranteed to have a fun time.

4/5 stars.

  • John Ulmer



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