Mickey Blue Eyes
Mickey Blue Eyes faces the unenviable task of following the critical and commercial hit Analyze This in depicting the culture clash that ensues when an uptight professional finds himself unwillingly in cahoots with the mob. Sadly, it's pretty lame on its own terms. The perpetually flustered, perpetually typecast Hugh Grant stars as a mild-mannered auctioneer who finds out a bit too late that the father (James Caan) of his fiancée (Jeanne Tripplehorn) is a mid-level mob figure. Soon, Grant finds himself impersonating not just a mobster, but a mobster who talks like Elmer Fudd, a development that leads to plenty of convoluted scenes in which humor is theoretically derived from an endless series of misunderstandings. Flatly assembled by credited director Kelly Makin, as well as uncredited directors Grant and Carl Gottlieb (Caveman), Mickey Blue Eyes is a broad, uneven comedy that never finds a consistent tone. It starts out cartoonish and silly, complete with music that seems drawn from the unreleased second volume of Mob Hits, takes a dark turn after its first hour, then limps its way toward an arbitrary and unconvincing finale. Grant is, as can be expected, flummoxed in an appropriately charming fashion, but he strains under the burden of having to carry this generally disappointing comedy all by himself. He's certainly not helped by the charmless and inexplicably regularly employed Tripplehorn, shrill and unlikable as Grant's betrothed. Caan at least seems to be enjoying himself, but unlike Robert De Niro in Analyze This, he's not playing a character so much as a collection of tough-guy cliches. Mickey Blue Eyes is probably the best studio film to open this past weekend, but that says less about its quality than the general lousiness of late-summer releases.