My Cousin Vinny (1991) – The funniest courtroom drama ever made


Vincent “Vinny” Gambini is a lawyer (recently graduated after failing six times in six years) who decides to take the case of his nephew and his friend who has recently been booked for a crime they did not commit – shoplifting and murder. Although Vinny is a personal injury lawyer with no trial experience, he lies to the trial judge. Vinny repeatedly screws up in court as a result of his contemptuous behavior and disregard for courtroom etiquette. This doesn’t much inspire much confidence in the two youngsters and they decide to call an incompetent public defender named John Gibbons who makes Vincent look like the real deal. Seeing this, Vincent persuades them to give him another chance.Vinny seems to be resilient and hell-bent on winning the case. Besides the case, Vinny has other problems too. His fiance Mona Lisa Vito constantly complains about being neglected (but not in the cliched manner you normally see in movies) and also, he has to deal with a ruffian who owes her share of the winnings from a past gambling game.


My Cousin Vinny is the funniest courtroom drama I’ve ever seen. Seeing Joe Pesci in a full-fledged comic role after getting so used to seeing him play violent and psychopathic gangsters is a refreshing change. And one of the interesting things I heard about this film is that the legal system is portrayed very accurately in the film. The director Jonathan Lynn actually has a law degree from Cambridge. The film met has the unanimous approval of so many lawyers. It is #3 on The American Bar Association’s List of Greatest Legal Movies.


Austin Pendleton’s public defender character John Gibbons gets the most laughs in the film. This is a character who initially gives off the impression that he is super-confident but is soon revealed to be someone with a major anxiety problem.  His nervousness triggers a series of  never-ending stutters that will leave you in splits. Pendleton has a stutter in real-life and Lynn has utilized that well. This scene will make you laugh so much till your stomach hurts, trust me. Also, the scenes of Pesci negotiating with this ruffian I mentioned earlier are some of the best ever written.


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