My Cousin Vinny (1992)

(On DVD, August 2002) Slight but charming little low-budget comedy driven by performances far more than pacing. Joe Pesci is rather good, as are most of the supporting actors. But of course, the real star of the film is Marisa Tomei, who lights up the screen whenever she appears. Her Academy Award-winning turn may mark one of the few times an Oscar’s been given for sheer kittenish sex-appeal, but I’m not about to complain given all my drooling. The rest of the film elicits a constant grin rather than outright laughter, but My Cousin Vinny is satisfying in a comfortable way. That the “stakes” of the film are non-existent (an appeal would have settled everything anyway) but that’s part of the charm, and charm is something that this film has in spades. The DVD contains few extras, one of them being a dull director’s commentary that will make you wonder how such an unfunny man can direct such a charming film.

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