Mickey Blue Eyes

on August 20, 1999 by Kristan Ginther
   Without Hugh Grant, "Mickey Blue Eyes" would be close to unwatchable. But the film does star the ever-charming Grant, and he does everything but the full monty to make you laugh.
   "Mickey Blue-Eyes" returns Grant ("Notting Hill," "Four Weddings and a Funeral") to familiar romantic comedy territory. He portrays Michael Felgate, an Englishman who runs an auction house in New York City. Michael's in love and after only three months of dating, he proposes to his girlfriend Gina (Jeanne Tripplehorn). She initially refuses, explaining that her family is mob-connected and that any man who gets involved with her will become corrupted. Michael assures Gina that he's up for the challenge, and she relents. However, before you can say "that's amore," he's lying to Gina, helping to launder money, and is even an accessory to murder.
   The running joke in "Mickey Blue Eyes" is that Michael, an uptight Brit, is a very obvious fish out of water in the mob community. When Gina's father Frank (James Caan) tries to teach Michael how to talk like a wiseguy and embody the titular "Mickey Blue Eyes" persona in order to avoid being found out by Frank's mobster cronies, the results are hilarious. Grant does the worst "fuhgeddaboutit" ever recorded on film. However, these moments are only pulled off thanks to Grant's comedic talents. The screenplay by Adam Scheinman and Robert Kuhn is incredibly predictable and Kelly Makin's direction is by-the-numbers. From the moment the soundtrack starts playing Italian songs featured in every other mob movie, a creeping sense of familiarity with the material becomes overwhelming. "Mickey Blue-Eyes" is an amalgamation of previous, better films, including "Moonstruck," "Married to the Mob" and "The Freshman." Starring Hugh Grant, Jeanne Tripplehorn and James Caan. Directed by Kelly Makin. Written by Adam Scheinman and Robert Kuhn. Produced by Elizabeth Hurley and Charles Mulvehill. A Warner Bros. release. Romantic comedy. Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some violence and sensuality. Running time: 100 min
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