The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
Main cast: Matthew Perry (Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky), Bruce Willis (Jimmy Jones @ Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski), Rosanna Arquette (Sophie Oseransky), Natasha Henstridge (Cynthia), Amanda Peet (Jill), and Kevin Pollak (Yanni Gogolack)
Director: Jonathan Lynn

The first thing I see in this movie is the eversap Matthew Perry (last seen in the godawful Three To Tango) in a close-up cleaning his oral cavity. The things I endure for Bruce Willis, I tell you. However, while Matthew Perry does nothing but to reprise the role of Bing Chandler in this movie, everything works. The Whole Nine Yards is a messy but darned funny and entertaining dark comedy.

Oz Oseransky is married for seven years to a henpecking Sophie (Rosanna Arquette looks uncannily like an older Sarah Michelle Gellar, I must say). He pays off his dead father-in-law's debts and hates his wife and mother-in-law. But the sap he is, he can't say the D word. The only ally he has is his dental assistant (Oz's a dentist) Jill who isn't what she seems.

One day a new neighbor arrives, and to Oz's horror, he recognizes the new neighbor as Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski, notorious hitman! Oh my God. He panics, but wife threatens to make his life even more of a living hell if he doesn't go to Chicago and tells Jimmy's former bosses (and now enemies) where Jimmy is. Then Oz will collect whatever finder's fee offered by these bad guys and they can pay off dead daddy-in-law's debts.

Oz agrees, if only to get away ("Go get laid!" Jill advises) from his wife. Sophie then runs to tell Jimmy that her hubby is telling on him (she wants him dead, insurance money you see). Oz gets abducted by the bad guys led by Yanni who wants to know where Jimmy is, and Oz falls for Jimmy's wife Cynthia. What a mess. Put in a hitman-in-the-making, a scheming wife, and the fact that Jimmy and Oz - dang it! - like each other, and I have a very great laugh out of the whole nonsense.

I adore Jimmy, played with really underhanded yet subversive charm by Willis. Nothing is sexier than a psycho, I always say, and Willis' chemistry with Amanda Peet is simply charming. Likewise, it is easy to see why he likes Oz - Oz is so bumbling and befuddled even I start to like him (scary!). And Oz and Cynthia's relationship is reminiscent of those old Las Vegas crime story where Cynthia is the seductive moll's wife in fur and Oz's our incompetent Sam Spade.

At the end of the movie I am smiling stupidly, laughing and giggling at the irony of the brutality of murder and the perverse hilarity one can get out of it. Everyone's a gem in this movie, even Perry, and yes, I love TWNY. Definitely up there with Grosse Pointe Blank and Analyze This as great psycho comedies, this movie. Love it, love it, love it!

Rating: 87

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