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Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Blue Heaven (released in 1990) - A comedy starring Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, and Joan Cusack

This Steve Martin movie is light hearted and fun. It is a romantic comedy where the romance is of less importance because the chemistry between the male and female co-stars pale in front of the chemistry between the male ones. Directed by Herbert Ross and scripted by Nora Ephron this movie is based on the life of Henry Hill.
Steve Martin plays Vinnie Antonelli an Ex-Mafia don who is going to squeal on his murderous ex-buddies. So he joins the witness protection program and moves to a suburb in San-Diego to keep his detractors away. Vinnie is protected by Barney Coopersmith a stiff uptight policeman whose attention to detail gets on everybody's nerves. Vinnie's wife leaves him earlier on as she is not charmed by the domestic life of the suburbs. Same happens for Coopersmith whose wife finds his tiny habits annoying, it seems that he is so methodic that he gets equal amounts of butter on to the two halves of his waffle.
Vinnie soon settles in to the witness protection program, but you cannot keep the crime out of a mobster too long. He starts petty thieving which goes on to bigger times and frenetic night clubbing. Poor Barney Coppersmith is simply aghast and tries hard to reason with him.

Vinnie even meets up with his old pals to start a new syndicate. Hannah Stubs played by Joan Cusack is the district Attorney who tries to prosecute Vinnie for his crimes, but her actions come to a cropper because he is part of the witness protection program. At first Barney and Hannah hate each other but are thrown together a lot. So the ice melts and to Vinnie's delight, they start liking each other. Vinnie takes Barney under his wing and helps him to dress better, dance better and woo Hannah.
Meanwhile Vinnie's old pals in crime try their best to prevent him from testifying. So Vinnie does all the wonder work for Barney and together they outwit the murderous gangs of Manhattan. This laugh riot is one of the funniest movies of all times. It was a critics delight but did not exactly set the box office on fire. Just as good wine, it slowly acquired a fan following and is considered as one of the cult comic capers of the century. The story may not be an Oscar winner but the script is great, suitably interlaced with one liners which evokes laughter. The best part of it is the bonding between Vinnie and Barney and the chemistry between the two actors just raises the film to a new level. It was so that Steve Martin was to play the role of Barney and Schwarzenegger that of Vinnie. But Schwarzenegger opted out and the role was taken up by Steve Martin. Rick Moranis was brought in for Barney. No complaints there for they rock the show.
Not the least, a great hurrah for the songs in the movie. The great numbers like “New York, new york”, “Take me out to a ball game”, “the boy from New york city” and “My blue heaven” are absolute delights. You can watch this movie anytime, in any mood as it is bound to evoke the loud guffaws. Only trouble may be your neighbor's objection to your loud laughter.

My Blue Heaven (released in 1990) - A comedy starring Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, and Joan Cusack

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