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Laramie Movie Scope:
Mickey Blue Eyes

A movie that commits crimes against the audience

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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August 21, 1999 -- "Mickey Blue Eyes" is a movie about a crime family, but the real crime is misrepresenting this film as entertainment.

Stories about production problems on this film turned out to be true. Reportedly, it sat on a shelf for a long time before being dusted off following the success of star Hugh Grant's earlier film this summer, "Notting Hill." It should have stayed on the shelf.

Grant stars as Michael Felgate, a man who runs an art auction house in New York. He falls in love with Gina (Jeanne Tripplehorn) only to find out her family is involved in organized crime. Gina warns him that if he marries her, he will become enmeshed in the family's crime business. He ignores the warning and reaps the whirlwind.

This lightweight comedy attempts to turn an accidental killing into a joke and fails. The screenplay has few ideas that work. Many turn into embarrassingly unfunny skits. Grant and Tripplehorn have no chemistry. The romance flops. Grant, a charming fellow, seems genuinely lost in this story. Whatever it takes to make this screenplay work, he doesn't have it.

Veteran actor James Caan slips into the role of Gina's Mafioso father, Frank Vitale, like one would slip into a comfortable jacket, likewise for Vinnie (Joe Viterelli of "Analyze This") and veteran actor Burt Young, who is very good as the godfather, Vito Graziosi. These guys could play gangsters in their sleep. Unfortunately, that talent just goes to waste.

The misunderstandings, the setups, the reconciliations, the chance meetings, these are standard comic devices, but here they misfire almost every single time. A bit with an elderly woman who wants to buy a painting is way off the mark, as is an excruciatingly awkward scene in a Chinese restaurant. The film does have a few laughs, but very few. It has many more scenes that are poorly written, are in bad taste or which are mean spirited, or are a combination of all of the above. The movie rates a D.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1999 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)