Why did I watch this
“Don’t change the channel…”, before the perky TV anchor could complete her sentence, my father was already at channel 89 from channel 79. Post retirement, my father’s super seasoned T V viewing skills helped him detect and skip bullshit in nanoseconds, that no advertiser in the world could predict or beat.
He rarely stayed on a channel for long enough, unless it was really worth a watch. If everything else sucked, Mr. Bean series on Pogo was the last thing that we saw before bedtime. That night, the incessant channel flipping stopped at this old gold of Hollywood. If intelligent humour is your thing, you are in for a treat.
Title: My Cousin Vinny
Cast: Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Genre: Achingly Funny Comedy
Running time: 120 minutes
The movie begins with Billy Gambini (Ralph Macchio), and Stan Rothenstein (Mitchell Whitfield) getting accused of murder of a store clerk at a convenience store they stopped by. Out on a college road trip, the duo takes the accusation lightly. Soon, things heat up, as all the circumstantial evidence points towards them. With no hope in sight, Billy calls his cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci) for help.
Lisa (Marisa Tomei), Vinny’s smart girlfriend joins him on his mission to free the boys. Having sworn, that she would marry Vinny, only after he wins at least one legal case, Lisa does everything to support Vinny in solving the mystery. All odds seems against Vinny, including the stay at the old inn. Every morning the couple is woken up in the whee hours by something or the other. Sometimes it was freight trains. At other times, there were noisy farm animals. Sleep deprived and hassled Vinny, struggles to keep the trial alive.
An inexperienced, but witty Vinny manages to keep the trial alive, much to the surprise of Judge, Chamberlain Haller (Fred Gwynne). There are many funny scenes with these two main leads in the movie. Vinny himself gets jailed a couple of times for contempt of court. His frequent entry in the jail after every session with Chamberlain, makes Billy and Stan more anxious. At this point, they are not even sure if Vinny is a real lawyer.
Vinny, finally manages to discredit the testimony of the first witness of the case, an old lady who could barely see. This revives everyone’s hope of saving the boys and gives Vinny some more time to investigate the case. Thanks to another jail night, he even manages to get a good night’s rest before the final day of trial.
However, the next day, the opposing lawyer brings in a surprise witness that changes that almost seals the fate of the boys. The witness confirms that the tyre marks left behind on the road outside the store, were made by Billy’s car.
During lunch break, stressed by everything, Vinny vents out his frustration at Lisa. She fumes out of the room, leaving behind the photographs she took while investigating the case with Vinny.
One of her photos show a flat and even mark on the road, proving that Billy’s car did not have a rear suspension that was used in the actual getaway car that was used by the real criminals. Vinny pulls Lisa into witness box and proves this point with the help of the Sheriff who also confirms that, two men fitting Billy and Stan’s description were arrested in another county in a similar car. More ever, their car had the suspension to create those tyre marks and also had the same caliber of gun used to kill the clerk.
Vinny wins the case and saves the boys from the electric chair. You can watch the trailer for this classic comedy here: