My Cousin Vinny (1992)

Rating: C-

Dir: Jonathan Lynn
Star: Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Fred Gwynne, Ralph Macchio

Yes, Ralph The Karate Kid Macchio, who plays one of two teenagers falsely accused of murdering a convenience-store clerk in deepest Alabama [Memo to self: never go to Alabama], and ends up being defended by severely rookie attorney Pesci. Hilarity ensues. Okay, it doesn’t, but there’s enough stupid humour on view to make for a passable time, though why this must be over two hours long escapes me; bring a book to tide you through the duller moments. Tomei is fabulous as Pesci’s girlfriend, rather more on the legal ball than him, and their sniping at each other provides most of the best moments – her anti-hunting rant is fabulous.

Gwynne is fine as the judge, too: my gripes are with the defendants, so bland as to be utterly forgettable, and thus the prospect of them being convicted of a capital crime is completely non-threatening. Pesci’s conversion into a legal eagle is also rather too abrupt, for someone who needed to have “disclosure” explained (by Tomei!) earlier in the film. Still, if you’re in the mood for something lacking any subtlety…just be prepared to put up with Pesci’s appalling hair-style for 121 minutes.