[Screen It]


(2002) (Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal) (R)

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Bad Attitude
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Comedy: A psychotherapist once again finds himself in the company of a mob figure who's been paroled from prison and wants to find out who's trying to kill him.
Several years after mob boss Paul Vitti (ROBERT DE NIRO) came to him with anxiety problems, psychotherapist Ben Sobel (BILLY CRYSTAL) suddenly finds the mobster back in his life. During his father's funeral, Ben receives a call from Paul who believes his life is in danger. When Ben hangs up on him, Paul apparently cracks and begins alternating between bouts of catatonia and apparently believing that he's part of "West Side Story," complete with singing.

Since Ben earlier treated him, he's called in once again to examine Paul and determines that the stress of prison life may have brought on this mental deterioration. Accordingly, Justice Department official Richard Chapin (JOHN FINN) assigns Ben as Paul's temporary custodian and releases the mobster from prison.

Ben is given a month to get Paul back into mental competency and find him a job, but the moment they're beyond the prison gates, Paul snaps back into his normal self. Even so, Ben insists that he must stay at his house, much to the chagrin of his wife Laura (LISA KUDROW) and amusement of his son Michael (KYLE SABIHY).

Despite that and having agents Miller (JAMES BIBERI) and Cerrone (CALLIE THORNE) following his moves, Paul, with the help of his bodyguard, Jelly (JOE VITERELLI), sets out to discover who wants him killed.

Perhaps it's his mob family's tough new boss, Patti LoPresti (CATHY MORIARTY-GENTILE), or her intimidating lieutenant, Eddie DeVol (RAYMOND FRANZA), or maybe rival mob boss Lou "The Wrench" Rigazzi (FRANK GIO) wants him out of the picture.

At the same time, Paul tries to hold down a variety of jobs to meet his parole conditions. He eventually finds himself on the set of "Little Caesar," a TV mob drama, working for director Raoul Berman (REG ROGERS) and coaching Australian actor Anthony Bella (ANTHONY LAPAGLIA) in the ways of being a mob boss.

As the attempts on his life continues, Paul tries to figure out who's responsible, all while plotting his next big heist, all of which nearly drive Ben to the point of a breakdown.

If they're fans of anyone in the cast or liked the original film, they just might.
For language and some sexual content.
  • BILLY CRYSTAL plays an anxiety prone psychotherapist who finds himself in over his head when he's ordered to help Paul, only to realize that there's nothing wrong with him. He uses strong profanity, pops some sort of unknown pills and is drunk in one scene.
  • ROBERT DE NIRO plays the mob boss who fakes insanity to get out of prison. Also prone to anxiety attacks, he tries to figure out who's after him, uses strong profanity and is sexually involved with some woman.
  • LISA KUDROW plays Ben's wife who isn't happy with Paul living with them or with Ben being involved with the mobster in general. She briefly uses some profanity.
  • JOE VITERELLI plays Paul's bodyguard who briefly uses strong profanity and roughs up a guy.
  • CATHY MORIARTY-GENTILE plays the new and ruthless boss of Paul's crime family who warily watches his return. She uses strong profanity.
  • JAMES BIBERI and CALLIE THORNE play two government agents assigned to trail Paul.
  • JOHN FINN plays the Justice Department official who essentially forces Ben to take on Paul's case.
  • REG ROGERS plays the director of the mob-based TV show who hires Paul as his consultant.
  • FRANK GIO plays a rival mob boss who shoots one of his own men dead.
  • ANTHONY LAPAGLIA plays the Australian actor who has the lead in a mob-based TV series and wants Paul's helping in making his character seem authentic. He uses strong profanity.
  • RAYMOND FRANZA plays Patti's right-hand man who uses strong profanity.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a brief look at the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity consists of at least 88"f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue is also present, while we hear the exaggerated sexual sounds of a woman coming from a bedroom. Some scantly clad strippers/exotic dancers are seen doing their thing, while some attempted humor involves male masturbation references.

    Violence consists of several deaths (some by shootings and others when a car goes into a river), while various instances of non-lethal material (people hitting, roughing up or firing upon others) is also present. Some of that fighting as bloody results, while it's possible that some viewers might find some of the material as tense or suspenseful, but it's all played for intended laughs.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some imitative behavior is also present. Various characters drink and/or smoke, one appears to snort some cocaine in a fantasy/dream sequence and pops various pills of unknown variety for real. Meanwhile, some material involves adult men dealing with the recent and long-ago deaths of their fathers (mostly played for laughs).

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • Ben states that he treats neurotic soccer moms and alcoholic gentiles.
  • We see that the Sobels had wine with dinner.
  • Paul says he's going to have a drink before going to see the boss.
  • We see Ben playing Freud and snorting what looks like cocaine in a dream/fantasy.
  • Ben keeps taking various drugs that he claims are herbal, etc., but Paul and others doubt that. Later, and after taking more pills and drinking saki and some mixed drinks, Ben is drunk, drooling and slurring his words at dinner.
  • We see some wine on a table.
  • Paul and others have drinks in a club.
  • We see various obvious shots of a Budweiser ad on the side of a bus.
  • A man has some blood on his nose and chin.
  • We see a little bit of blood from an actor's nose after he's been punched.
  • A guy's face is bloody after he's repeatedly punched.
  • A squib in an actor's shirt goes off and fake blood squirts out.
  • Paul, his cronies and associates and others in rival mob families are mobsters, some of whom attempt to kill Paul and rough up Ben (a prison guard and another prisoner - who calls him "Guido" -- attempt to kill him as well).
  • Although it's often due to his life being in danger and/or upholding his patient/doctor oath, Ben doesn't report Paul's criminal activities to the authorities.
  • Paul complains that he's "half a fag" already after faking mental insanity and singing songs from "West Side Story."
  • We hear that Patti's husband is dead (apparently from her murdering him).
  • Paul is mean and disrespectful to various customers as he tries to hold down various jobs.
  • While Ben is drunk and slurring his words, Paul complains that he sounds like a "f*cking retard."
  • People race to grab money that's floating in the air after an ATM machine is destroyed.
  • Various mobsters set out to hijack and rob a security truck carrying gold bars.
  • A mobster turns sides.
  • It's possible that scenes listed under "Violence" might be tense or suspenseful to some viewers, but all of them are played for laughs.
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Shotguns/Automatic Weapons/Knife: Carried and/or used to threaten, fire upon, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Cowboy cap gun: Seen carried by a boy in a flashback.
  • Phrases: "Hate your f*cking guts," "Mind-f*cking pr*ck," "Guess who, you f*ck," "I'm in f*cking hell right now," "F*cking piece of sh*t," "What the f*ck /are you doing/is that (about)/is this?" "You've got to be f*cking kidding me," "Some f*cking life this is going to be," "Minding my own f*cking business," "Get the f*ck out of here," "Stop f*cking around," "I'm a f*cking wreak," "You sound like a f*cking retard," "Shut the f*ck up," "F*ck you," "F*ck me?" "F*cking moron," "Are you f*cking out of your mind?" "He's a f*cking jerkoff," "Go f*ck yourself," "Shut your f*cking mouth," "Give me the f*cking keys," "Are you f*cking kidding me?" "You f*cked with the wrong shrink," "Drop the f*cking gun," "Must you always be a f*cking killjoy?" "F*ck him," "Bullsh*t," "Tell me why I give a sh*t," "Don't bullsh*t me," "Cut that sh*t out," "So help me God, I'm going to kick the ever-loving sh*t out of you," "P*ssy whipped," "What are you doing, asshole?" "Punks," "Guido," "Screw(ed) up," "Shut up," "Busting your balls," "Go to hell," "Pain in the ass," "You're pissing me off," "Breaking my balls," "What the hell /was that about/happened to you?" "No way in hell," "Shut up," "Nuts" (crazy), "Stromboni" (a castrated bull), "Balls" (testicles), "Screw you," "I'm screwed," "Pissed off," "This is bloody great," "Scumbag," "Stick it up your ass" and "We're screwed."
  • Various inmates have tattoos.
  • While trying to test Paul to see if he's really catatonic, Ben slaps him on the face and then jabs a hypodermic needle down into Paul's leg (with no reaction).
  • When an unhappy car buying customer asks to see the manager after Paul the salesman becomes irate, Paul grabs his own crotch and says that it's the manager. He then grabs it again while acting like it's talking.
  • In different scenes, several characters hold different people upside down over the side of a building.
  • Paul steps down onto Ben's foot on the accelerator to make him drive faster.
  • Ben throws various things (golf clubs, papers, etc.) out of his truck at a car that's pursuing them.
  • None.
  • None.
  • The opening song has a woman somewhat sultrily repeating, "Oh, oh, yeah."
  • At least 88 "f" words (2 used sexually), 13 "s" words, 5 slang terms using male genitals ("c*ck," "d*ck," "pr*ck" and "sausage"), 4 using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 6 hells, 5 asses (2 used with "hole"), 4 S.O.B.s, 1 damn, 7 uses of "Oh God," 5 of "G-damn," 3 of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "God," "Jesus" and "Dear God" as exclamations.
  • The opening song has a woman somewhat sultrily repeating, "Oh, oh, yeah."
  • We see a scantily clad woman suggestively dancing around a pole in a strip club (we see lots of cleavage and the side of her bare rear in her small bikini style bottom).
  • The camera pans up the shapely legs of Agent Cerrone as she sits (showing Ben's gaze at them).
  • While being tested with inkblot images during his mental breakdown, Paul says that one looks like a "p*ssy with teeth." He's then shown an old-fashioned drawing of a husband looking at his wife and child in bed and Paul states that the wife was "f*cking" the midget (how he sees the boy) when the husband was out of town. Ben then comments on that by asking about having intercourse with the midget.
  • Paul refers to Ben as being "p*ssy whipped."
  • We hear loud, exaggerated and rhythmic sexual sounds coming from a woman in Paul's bedroom in Ben and Laura's house. Ben and Laura can't sleep because of that and they comment that it's been going on for 40 minutes. Laura then says that the woman is faking it (saying that no one sounds like that), something that Agent Cerrone also says as she and Miller listen from out in their car. We also see that Ben's son is listening. Ben then goes to tell Paul to stop or be quiet and we see the woman's cleavage in her lingerie. Ben then says that he has a 17-year-old son and Paul reacts as if Ben were asking if his son could be with her next (with Paul seeming open to the idea).
  • Moments later, Ben and Paul continue their discussion about that, with Paul commenting on it sounding like having the "Vagina Monologues" in his house. They then argue about Ben making Paul stay at their house with Ben saying he thought that Paul would like a home-cooked meal after being in prison for so long. Paul sarcastically replies that yes, that's what he's been "jerking off" to for the past 850 nights in prison. Paul then makes a broad and exaggerated gesture of masturbating. After Paul says he didn't hear anything coming from Ben's bedroom, Ben says that he doesn't feel the need to wake the neighbors when he and Laura have sex and Paul says, "I didn't know you could do it without even waking up your wife." We then hear more sexual sounds from the woman who's alone in the bedroom, and Paul says that he told her to start without him if he wasn't back in two minutes.
  • Paul unintentionally flashes some of Ben's older female relatives in his robe. He then jokingly asks, "Who do you have to f*ck around here to get some bacon?" Spotting an older relative, he then adds, "Not you, I hope." Paul later tells Ben that it's good for those older women to see his "sausage."
  • In a bit of innuendo, Patti asks Paul if he wants to "lick my beaters" (as she holds mixer beaters).
  • Young Paul holds a limp sword in a dream/fantasy and Ben comments on that being sexual in nature. Paul says he knows that Ben thinks "The sword is my c*ck and I can't get it up." He then says, however, that he was with Sheila last night and "I had a hard-on you could f*cking swing from." He then adds that one could have hung wet towels from it. Jelly then adds that Paul is built like a race horse in that area.
  • A woman with Paul shows cleavage.
  • Some women - presumably prostitutes - enter Paul's TV set trailer.
  • One of Patti's goons grabs Ben by the crotch under a table and squeezes quite hard, causing him a great deal of pain. Moments later, the guy reaches out to shake Ben's hand and says, "No hard feelings." Ben replies, "No, probably never again."
  • Once again we see a scantily clad woman suggestively dancing around a pole in a strip club (we see lots of cleavage and the side of her bare rear in her small bikini style bottom). Jelly puts money into the front of her bikini bottom (between her spread legs) and then encourages Ben to do the same (he reluctantly does after she pulls his head into her cleavage and writhes in front of him).
  • Ben tucks a handgun into his pants, but it slides down inside to his crotch, making it look to outsiders like he's playing with himself while trying to get it out.
  • Ben nervously jokes that he's going to go to prison where he'll be popular since he's small.
  • During the outtakes, there's footage from the above scene with Paul talking about "jerking off" and making broad and exaggerated gestures about that. He does more of that, makes some related sounds, makes more hand gestures and then jokes that they're going to "beat it to death" (the gag).
  • Lou smokes once, while various miscellaneous characters also smoke (cigarettes and cigars).
  • We hear that Ben's father has died and see Ben and others at the father's funeral. Although he initially appears okay about the death, it eventually affects him (in a comical way) as the story progresses.
  • We also hear that Paul's father was killed when the boy was 12 and that comes up several times for some comedy-based emotional scenes.
  • Paul's presence in their house puts a bit of a strain on Ben and Laura's relationship.
  • We hear that Patti's husband is dead (apparently from her murdering him).
  • Mobsters and the mafia.
  • Anxiety attacks.
  • Seeing psychiatrists and other mental practitioners with personal problems.
  • In what turns out to be a scene from a mob-based TV show, several characters open fire on another, apparently killing him (we don't see the impact).
  • A prison guard walks up with a silencer-equipped gun and fires several shots into a blanket covered bunk (in an attempt to kill Paul who's hiding in the bunk below - thus we don't know if the shape under the blanket was just pillows or another inmate).
  • A prisoner pulls a knife on Paul in the cafeteria. Paul then repeatedly hits this man on the head with his tray. A melee breaks out and some people punch and struggle with others.
  • While trying to test Paul to see if he's really catatonic, Ben slaps him on the face and then jabs a hypodermic needle down into Paul's leg (with no reaction).
  • Jelly throws a rock that accidentally breaks Ben's window.
  • Paul punches Eddie in the face (for being rude while answering the door) and Jelly holds his gun on him.
  • Paul jams bread into a customer's face at a restaurant when mad at him.
  • While working in a jewelry store, Paul fantasizes about tying up the security guard and blowing the safe open.
  • Guns are held on a young Paul in a dream/fantasy.
  • A guy opens fire on Paul and others in a restaurant with a machine gun, but doesn't hit anyone (although he causes some property damage). Jelly shoots back at that man.
  • Later, Jelly hits the above guy on the back of the head and Paul then punches him in the face as they try to figure out who he works for. They then dangle him over the side of a building from the roof and Jelly then ends up dropping the guy several stories down to some trash below them (the guy survives).
  • Lou shoots a man dead (we don't see the impact).
  • One of Patti's goons grabs Ben by the crotch under a table and squeezes quite hard, causing him a great deal of pain.
  • Some mob figures open fire on Ben and Paul in Ben's truck, blowing out the back window. During the chase, Ben's truck blasts over a freestanding ATM machine, destroying it. They then continue chasing them with Paul driving through a fence until the pursuing car accidentally drives off a dock and into a river where it sinks and the men inside presumably drown.
  • We hear Paul punching an actor in a trailer and then see the actor with a bloody nose.
  • A guy grabs Ben and smashes him against a door twice before throwing him to the floor in a mob meeting where others hold guns on him.
  • Ben accidentally slams into a girder and flips over it.
  • Various mobsters hold guns on drivers of a security truck as they hijack it. They then shoot at federal agents who are trying to scale a wall (but don't hit them).
  • Ben slaps Paul.
  • A mobster holds a gun on Paul. In response, Ben then grabs the guy's arm and proceeds to punch him in the face repeatedly.
  • We hear gunfire and see people shooting, and a car smashes into another car, but this is part of the TV show being filmed.

  • Reviewed December 3, 2002 / Posted December 6, 2002

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