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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Analyze That (2002)



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Analyze That is a perfectly example of how self-consciousness can undermine a sequel. Analyze This was far from flawless, but it was funny because it managed to create two interesting characters we liked and put them together in a humorous but reasonably plausible context. Analyze That seeks to recreate the original with artifice. Hey, if a mobster seeing a shrink was funny, what about a mobster singing showtunes and working in Hollywood? The answer, born out by the film, is an unequivocal "not funny." De Niro's character would not do these things. When we sense that the script is not playing fair with the characters, the artifice becomes apparent, and we stop laughing.

Worse is the handling of supporting characters, played by Lisa Kudrow and Joe Viterelli. Their important part in the picture painted by the original is lost here. Here, they feel pasted in by force, as if they were included simply because they were in the original, which, I suppose, is probably just what happened.

There are a few good lines, but they're outnumbered by the jokes that misfire abrasively. It's almost physically painful, watching the talented cast work so hard and accomplish so little.

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