best films: #64: MY COUSIN VINNY (1992)
Contest Marisa Tomei‘s 1992 Oscar win as much as you want (I personally think Jack Palance was completely lucid when he announced her name at the podium), but there’s something to be said for making a completely, outrageous, highly enjoyable, totally likable comedy. Thanks to My Cousin Vinny, typically gangsterified Joe Pesci gets to stretch his comedic legs, and, it turns out, he’s got great timing and excellent chemistry with all of his co-stars, especially the adorable Tomei. Premise — when Billy Gambini (the Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio) and his friend Stan get inadvertently arrested for the shooting of a store clerk, they have to call on Billy’s lawyer cousin Vinny (Pesci) to come to the “rescue.” Vinny and his long-time fiancee Mona Lisa Vito (great name!) head on down to the deep south to take part in what can only be described as one of the great film courtroom scenes. Now, it could be considered fluff by some film snobs, you’d be hard pressed to find a movie that makes you laugh quite as much as this one. Considering it features one of the funniest scenes in filmdom (the Joyzee accent is perfection!), sometimes everyone need a little dose of My Cousin Vinny.