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Mickey Blue Eyes

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Mickey Blue Eyes

Starring: Hugh Grant, Jeanne Tripplehorn
Director: Kelly Makin
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: August 1999
Genres: Comedy, Romance

Review by Greg King
2 stars out of 4

It's easy to see what initially attracted Hugh Grant to this rather disappointing comedy. His character, an effete Englishman who becomes involved with the Mob, is familiar stuff, virtually a composite of most of the characters he has been playing since his breakthrough role in Four Weddings And A Funeral.

Grant plays Michael Felgate, an auctioneer with a British firm operating in New York. When he proposes to his girlfriend, local school teacher Gina (Jeanne Tripplehorn), he is disappointed when she tells him that she can't marry him. Her father (James Caan, best known for his role in the classic The Godfather) is a prominent gangster, and she doesn't want him becoming compromised by that world, where one small favour leads to another, and so forth. Michael convinces her that he will not be seduced by the mob and that he can refuse any offers they may care to make. But slowly, he finds himself drawn into their world. Before long, Michael finds that the auction house is being used by the mob for money laundering purposes. Complications set in when a mobster's son is accidentally murdered, and Michael finds himself pretending to be a tough gangster from Kansas. Eventually he is forced to co-operate with the FBI in order to survive a mob contract and get to the church on time.

Following other comedies that have dealt with the mob and its murderous ways and codes of honour (Married To The Mob and the recent Analyze This, etc), Mickey Blue Eyes is a second rate comedy that struggles for genuine laughs. Writers Adam Scheinman and Robert Kuhn lack any sense of irony, and squander many opportunities to send up the clichés of the genre. The film becomes less likeable, less credible and less funny as it unfolds. Canadian director Kelly Makin struggles to lift the lacklustre material, which moves along at an uneven pace.

The performances lack spark. Grant does his usual by the numbers performance for much of the film, but he is out of his depth when called upon to impersonate a gangster. Even Caan seems embarrassed here, and he struggles to milk as much ironic humour out of his comic portrayal of an archetypal gangster as De Niro did in the far superior Analyze This. James Fox is totally wasted as Grant's foppish boss.

Grant has established himself as a likeable star of light weight romantic comedies, and it will be interesting to see how his career fares after this disappointing and heavy handed farce. But, since he and girl friend Liz Hurley produced the film through their own production company, they have no-one to blame but themselves for this disaster.

Copyright © 2000 Greg King

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