My Cousin Vinny (1992)


Jonathan Lynn directs Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei and Fred Gwynne in this fish out of water comedy about a wise guy from New York’s first case as a qualified lawyer being the trial of his cousin for a murder in Alabama.

I owned this on VHS as a teenager so watched it plenty… and then seemingly abandoned it for 20 years. Which is a shame as it still holds up remarkably well. Both the trial and the comedy are tightly plotted and well executed with Pesci, Gwynne and Austin Pendleton eking out extra chuckles wherever they can. Marisa Tomei, wins man of the match though, with all the best lines, outfits and a near-merciless rhythm in her argumentative patter with the eponymous lead. She deserved that Oscar she won (back when they gave awards to fun support performances in hits, rather than most prestigious piece of support casting in trophy bait productions) and it’s a shame she got relegated back to wife and girlfriend roles so quickly again after this brilliant breakout role.




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