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Don Vito Leoni, the Godfather, is clinically depressed. The world has changed and he hasn't. He'd like to retire, but if he left the "family business" to his two idiot sons, they'd be dead in a minute. So he decides to go legit, which convinces everyone that he must be completely off the deep end. To preserve their cushy lives, his dysfuntional family conspires to get him some psycho-therepy. So his boys kidnap a "piasan" shrink and order him to "fix" their father. This film, which premired on Showtime, pre-dated the very similarly plotted "Analyze This" by over a year. Written by
Surprisingly, shockingly, this is an excellent comedy and satire.
National Lampoon productions are very uneven, and I didn't go into this one with high hopes, but since it was coming off streaming, and I felt like watching something on the lighter side, I thought I'd give it a shot.
What was most pleasant was that this film doesn't go for the easy, juvenile, slapstick stupidity I was really expecting, but is actually pretty sophisticated, with top-notch acting to boot. I do, however, think a lot of modern audiences might not go for the slower, more deliberate pace of this film, since nowadays they just can't seem to wait to get to the "money shots". This didn't bother me at all, as I often prefer it when situations and characters are given time to develop.
One thing I really can't stand is movies that glamorize the Mafia, which, to me, is like romanticizing Nazis. (I never cared for "The Godfather" and its sequels, but liked "Goodfellas" a lot, since I thought that the latter film made mob life look quite bad, that is, unless you happen to look favorably upon murdering people with sharpened pencils just for the hell of it.) This spoof easily merits a get-out-of-jail-free card with regard to glamorizing sociopathic behavior, because it was it's just so sharp and good- natured.Furthermore, I loved the way this movie flowed, and, unlike some other reviewers, I also loved how it was all tied up at the end.
In summary, this film does a nearly perfect job of treading a fine line between comedy, farce, spoof, and actual emotional and rather heart-warming drama, and I just loved it. Lastly, it reminded that our society really was so much nicer not so long ago, leaving me in a highly ambivalent state of nostalgia.
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