The Whole Nine Yards

Year 2000

Bruce Willis as  Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski  
Matthew Perry as Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky
Rosanna Arquette as Sophie Oseransky
Michael Clarke Duncan   as Frankie Figs
Natasha Henstridge as Cynthia Tudeski
Amanda Peet as Jill
Kevin Pollak as Yanni Gogolack
Director - Jonathan Lynn
Screenwriter - Mitchell Kapner

Maybe this is one of those movies that comes under the heading of guilty pleasure. There's nothing great about the movie. There're no great revelations or insights into life. It's a fun, light movie that makes no apologies about being nothing more than an escapist comedy.

If you've seen this movie, you can't help but recollect it and smile.

You've got Jimmy Tudeski (Bruce Willis), a.k.a. Jimmy "The Tulip" or Jimmy "Tulips". The nickname is an homage to the time that mob members were given nicknames by the press when the boys and girls from the fifth estate were bored. No one in any mob ever called Capone "Scarface" and lived to tell about it.

Anyway, Jimmy Tulips is a hit man who turned against his fellow members and is now getting away from it all in sunny Canada (Montreal, I believe). He moves in next to a dentist named Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky (Matthew Perry).

Other characters include Jimmy's wife, who wants to have sex with Oz. A Canadian version of an FBI guy who wants to have sex with Oz's wife. Oz's receptionist who want to have sex with Jimmy and is a hitwoman want-to-be. Oz's wife, who wants Oz dead. Oz's mother-in-law, who wants Oz dead. And to round out the circle, Jimmy's former boss, who wants Jimmy dead and is planning the murder.

Jimmy and Frankie Figs (Michael Clarke Duncan) put their plan to rest easy in motion. Different plans, different motions. Oz gets dragged along, often literally.

The jokes aren't necessarily of the cerebral kind. In fact, most of them are sight gags. Oz runs into a barn door sized hoodlum and falls down, Oz runs into a glass door and falls down. Oz falls down a lot. Sometimes he has something witty to say about it. Even the receptionist falls down at least once.

Or there's the mangling of an accent for a quick yuck. The mob boss refers to Tudeski as "Yimmy" instead of "Jimmy".

All of the above is why this is a guilty pleasure. It's juvenile to the point of becoming embarrassing. But it's funny. Not since Arsenic and Old Lace has a character mugged for the camera as much as Oz. But, the timing is perfect, the expressions are entertaining, and it makes you laugh.

There are the typical crosses and double-crosses and a moment or two of tension. There's Amanda Peet nearly nude, as well. And as much as I don't really like Roseanna Arquette, in this movie she's a perfect cast in the role of a shrew who thinks she's got more talent and beauty than she has. (Wait. That came out wrong. She was well cast in David Cronenberg's Crash, too.)

Yes, it's really a comedy. There are a few too many blasphemies uttered by Oz for my liking, and there's the too short scene of Amanda Peet, but this is an entertaining farce. It even has some chick flick potential.

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