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:: ANALYZE THIS

We all have problems at some stage of our lives, and occasionally seek guidance and stability from an outside party. This film has no trouble attracting laughs because even a notorious gangster like Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro) has the need to talk out his feelings. Dr Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal) accidentally drives into the back of Vitti’s bodyguard Jelly (Joseph Viterelli) and gives him his business card if anything has to be sorted out from the accident. How opportune for Vitti when he starts to experience anxiety attacks and is urged to see a doctor.
The stage is set for a series of chuckles as the frightened Dr Sobel, unwilling to co-operate because he knows Vitti’s background, tries to extract Vitti’s most inner thoughts, something unheard of from a man of his stature. Sobel is now on the payroll. While this association continues, Sobel is trying to prepare for his own wedding to Laura (Lisa Kudrow)

Their attempts to have a normal relationship are dogged by constant interruption by Vitti and his men. There was even a disruption at the two wedding ceremonies that Sobel attempted to conduct. However, Sobel could never stop administering the therapy. Who was going to say no to an organized crime leader?
The director, Harold Ramis, allows the humour to evolve out of the unpredictable situations, and the magical performances of De Niro and Crystal are to be acknowledged. “Analyze This” pokes fun at mobsters and there are some terrific moments. There is even a parody of a scene from The Godfather. All this therapy is supposed to help Paul Vitti determine who is undermining him and trying to kill him, and how to deal with it.
Robert De Niro’s timing is superb and this role again displays his wonderful talent. Billy Crystal is very funny at times without diminishing the importance of his character. The scene where Sobel attends a conference of the “families” to represent Vitti is beautifully amusing. The director shows skill in his effective interplaying of the actors. “Analyze This” will make you laugh loudly and is highly recommended.