tek's rating: ½

My Cousin Vinny (R)
20th Century Studios; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
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This came out in 1992, but I didn't see it until 2017 (frickin' 25 years later). It's something I've always kind of wanted to see, though all I really knew about it was that there was a lawyer played by Joe Pesci, and Marisa Tomei was in it. (And she won a best actress Oscar, which I seem to recall being somewhat controversial, at the time. I'm not even going to bother to look up who all she won against, I'll just say I thought she did a good job.)

So, there are these two guys from New York, Bill Gambini (Ralph Macchio) and Stan Rothenstein, who are on a road trip. While in Alabama, they stop in a convenience store to stock up on food. Bill unintentionally shoplifts a can of tuna, and subsequently the two of them are arrested. They think it's about the tuna, but actually the clerk at the store had been shot and killed shortly after they left. There are a few eyewitnesses who ID'd Bill and Stan, and their car, so... they find themselves facing a murder charge (or in Stan's case, accessory to murder). Bill calls his mom, who recommends hiring his cousin, Vinny Gambini (Pesci), to represent them. So Vinny drives down to Alabama with his fiancée, Lisa Vito (Tomei), to defend them. Unfortunately, Vinny has only recently passed the bar (on his sixth try), and has no trial experience. And at first he seems kind of incompetent (though I dare say that partly that has to do with the judge in this case being an excessive stickler for formality). I also want to say that Lisa seems somewhat smarter than Vinny... and the two of them seem somewhat antagonistic toward each other. Though actually, there's one scene that starts out seeming that way, but turns into some of the best verbal foreplay I've ever seen, so I'm not quite sure how seriously to take any of their arguments. Anyway... Vinny eventually turns out to be much more competent than he originally seemed. (Though there are several things that happened earlier, that seemed inconsequential at the time, which ultimately become important foreshadowing.)

And I don't think there's anything else I want to say, except that the movie is really funny, and a lot cleverer than I expected. And I'm sorry it took me such a long time to see it.


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