Monday, March 14, 2022

Movie Quote of the Day (‘My Cousin Vinny,’ As 2 New Yawkers Try to Fit Into a Sleepy Southern Town)

[Inexperienced trial lawyer Vinny Gambini, with longtime fiancée Mona Lisa Vito annoyed by her ticking biological clock, has come to a conservative Southern town to defend a cousin and his friend from a murder charge.]

Mona Lisa Vito [played by Marisa Tomei]: [Vinny looks at her funny, taking in her black miniskirt and black leather jacket.] “What?”

Vinny Gambini [played by Joe Pesci]: “Nothing. You stick out like a sore thumb around here.”

Mona Lisa: “Me? What about you?”

Vinny: “I fit in better than you. At least I'm wearing cowboy boots.”

Mona Lisa: “Oh yeah, you blend.”— My Cousin Vinny (1992), screenplay by Dale Launer, directed by Jonathan Lynn

Thirty years ago today, My Cousin Vinny premiered. It wasn’t the most critically acclaimed movie, with one reviewer, Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman, describing it as “pure no-brain bunk.”

Just goes to show: Don’t believe the so-called “experts.”

The above dialogue demonstrates what a well-constructed “fish-out-of-water” comedy this is. But the interplay between Pesci and Tomei (winner of an unexpected Best Supporting Actress Oscar) shows why so many of us laugh helplessly every time we see it.

Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene offers an eye-opening oral history of the film—which, incidentally, premiered 30 years ago today. Among its revelations: one studio exec urged screenwriter Dale Launer to delete Mona Lisa Vito from his script; others strongly disputed casting Tomei in her career-making role; and yet another wanted to cast then-hot Andrew Dice Clay as Vinny.

Again: don’t believe the “experts”—at least, the ones who deal with movies.

No comments: