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Analyze That in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Analyze That

Robert DeNiro • Billy Crystal • Lisa Kudrow
DIRECTOR: Harold Ramis

So, tell me everything… THE CONCEPT:
In this sequel to Analyze This, mob boss Paul Vitti (De Niro) appears to be having a nervous breakdown in Sing Sing. When he’s released into the custody of Ben Sobel [Crystal], the psychotherapist discovers it has all been a ploy to get him out of prison early.

U.S. RELEASE: December 6 2002 • Rated: R


“It’s hard doing a sequel after the first one was so successful and was such a well liked movie. Why would people come again, why would they care again about us? So it took a long time before we felt comfortable with what it was, and actually it kept developing as we were shooting until we all felt satisfied with it. We wanted to come back because there was a good story to tell. There was an unfinished relationship between Ben Sobel and Paul Vitti from the first film.”

“I was very enthusiastic about getting started, once everyone had committed to doing a sequel. Let’s get on with it and we’ll work the specifics as we get deeper into the story because things will change all the time, even while we’re shooting.”

“I think there’s nothing worse than doing a sequel just to exploit a franchise. So I held out until we had an idea and a storyline that felt as valid as the first one. I didn’t want to repeat Vitti’s anxiety attacks as his major problem, so I took him to the next level, which would be for him to have a complete psychotic break. I figured, what’s the logical possibility? Paul could go really crazy, and that can be a pretext to get him out of jail and into Ben’s custody and install him as a guest in Ben’s house – which is certainly not going to make Ben’s problems any easier. Meanwhile, Ben’s wife is saying, ‘What? – there’s a new law? You have to bring a gangster home?’”

“Laura [Sobel] is a very controlling character and that adds to the pressure. She doesn’t like anything out of place. And a mobster living the in the house! – well, that’s definitely something out of place. But the marriage is basically happy. This is a temporary disturbance as far as she’s concerned and she’d like to make it as temporary as possible. Laura’s not afraid of Vitti. She doesn’t like him, and she doesn’t want her family put in jeopardy because of him. She sees him as a destructive presence in their lives – which, of course, he is.”

“One of the first jokes I wrote for Analyze That which survived every draft of the script had to do with Vitti trying to sell someone a car in a showroom. ‘Look at the size of that trunk,’ he says, ‘You can fit three bodies in there …’ Sometimes it just takes one line, one absurd situation to spark the whole thing for me, and that was it.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2002 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #625, December 2002 cover

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