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My Cousin Vinny (1992)

A movie directed by Jonathan Lynn

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  • Aug 30, 2011
I'd heard about this movie for a while and was really looking forward to seeing it. However, I was very disappointed with the final movie. The humor seemed forced and predictable for the most part. There were just too many cases in which the scriptwriters forced the characters to behave moronically in order to create miscommunications. Then the audience is supposed to laugh all because Vinny didn't do something as simple and basic as introduce himself (the jail scene) or the police didn't tell the kids what they were being charged for (incidentally, that is required by law and the case would have been thrown out in real life). Then there are the incompetent professional jokes. I feel like I've already seen dozens of movies in which a supposedly incompetent lawyer, doctor, or other professional ends up learning his job and saving the day. It's been done too many times. Based on the other reviews here, I'm sure this movie works for a lot of people, but to me it just seemed forced and clich├ęd.

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About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi ()
Ranked #38
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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About this movie


When two Italian-American boys from New York are falsely accused of murder in a small Alabama town, they call for a lawyer--but the only lawyer they know is their cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci), who made six attempts before he passed his bar exam.My Cousin Vinnyis a classic fish-out-of-water comedy; the flimsy plot about clearing the two boys and solving the murder is just a hook to support a lot of culture-clash humor. Thanks to the strong cast of character actors like Fred Gwynne, Austin Pendleton, and Lane Smith, it's pretty funny--even old-hat jokes about Brooklyn versus Southern accents come to life. Pesci has played a few too many schticky characters, but this time it works. There's just enough humanity in his caricature to make Vinny likable and entertaining. When the movie was released, there was controversy about whether Marisa Tomei, playing Vinny's big-haired and black-leather-wearing fiancée, deserved to win the best supporting actress Oscar (she beat out Judy Davis, Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, and Vanessa Redgrave); but seeing her performance on its own, it's a comic marvel and worthy of honor.--Bret Fetzer
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Director: Jonathan Lynn
DVD Release Date: July 25, 2000
Runtime: 120 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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