The Whole Nine Yards
"It doesn't matter how many people I've killed.
What matters is how I get along with the people who are still alive. "
Stars: Stuff Blowed Up: Gratuitous Nudity:
Nicholas Oseransky (Matthew Perry) is a dentist, working hard to pay off the debt incurred by his wife's family. His wife Sophie (Rosanna Arquette) hates him. When Jimmy "The Tulip," a famous hit man (Bruce Willis), moves in next door, she contrives to collect a mob-offered reward by sending Nick to rat him out. Nick doesn't want any part of it, but her conniving leaves him little choice, so he flies to Chicago, hoping to just pretend to do the deed.
But that would make for a very short movie. Instead, he ends up in the middle of very convoluted situation, full of twists and turns that leave him unsure of who he can trust. Everyone, including Jimmy's wife, wants something from him, and more he gets involved the less likely it is that he'll get out of it alive.
Did I mention that it's a comedy? A very funny one, with Willis at the top of his form and Perry showing he can be funny without being Chandler. His pratfalls are reminiscent of a young Dick VanDyke as he stumbles his way from one bad situation to another. Even simple things are milked for the maximum comic potential. Does sitting on a stack of tires, trying to keep your composure as they slowly tip over, sound funny? Not in print, but it works great in the movie.
In the end Nick comes up with an unexpected solution to the entire mess, and it seems to work, but even after it is executed the movie continues with more twists and turns, making us wonder just how he's going to survive the situation.
Stuff Blowed Up: Not much in the way of explosions, but enough shooting and killing to make up for it. Gratuitous Nudity: Gratuitous Nudity is used as a plot device, giving us a very lovely full frontal shot of Amanda Peet, and then a bonus shot of her leaning out of a window and waiving, well, everything. Is it really gratuitous, if it's part of the story? Who cares, when she looks so good?
© 2001 Dave Hitt