1999 was a landmark year in the revival of mob entertainment. In January, the first episode of The Sopranos would air, reinventing television as we know it and kicking off one of the greatest works of art anyone's ever produced. In the same year, Hollywood released not one but two wacky comedies about the mob: the Robert De Niro / Billy Crystal film Analyze This, and the somewhat forgotten Hugh Grant / James Caan movie Mickey Blue Eyes.
Forgotten (and critically maligned) as it may be, Mickey Blue Eyes is a surprisingly enjoyable and ultra-watchable farce that easily ranks as one of the best films in the long history of the Grant/Caan comedy canon. Grant is about to marry Jeanne Tripplehorn, but gradually deduces that her father (Caan, playing the midpoint between his characters from The Godfather and Elf) is connected to some unsavory characters, which leads to misunderstandings and snowballing hijinks, and ultimately a straightforwardly enjoyable 100-minute distraction.
It's also LOADED with Sopranos cameos. Paulie, Janice, Big Pussy, Vito, and Bobby all make appearances, and even Artie Bucco finally gets to be a part of the gang, albeit as a psychopathic failson artist who meets a slapstick end. So still less sad than what he got on The Sopranos.
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When 1996's The Cable Guy was about to come out, ALL the press surrounding the movie was obsessed with the fact that Jim Carrey was receiving $20 million to star, as though this represented some despicable cultural nadir where the guy who talked out of his butt could finally earn more money than honest, hard-working hedge fund managers.