This is At the Buzzer’s countdown of the best 25 comedies of all-time. Our panel of 10 cast their votes, and we’re revealing the results one by one until we get to No. 1 on Tuesday, May 10.
And now, our number 16:
16) My Cousin Vinny (1 vote, 150 points)
I bought a suit. You seen it. Now it’s covered in mud. This town doesn’t have a one-hour cleaner, so I had to buy a new suit, except the only store you could buy a new suit in has got the flu. Got that? The whole store got the flu, so I had to get this in a secondhand store. So it’s either wear the leather jacket, which I know you hate, or this. So I wore this ridiculous thing for you.
Chris: Just about everything I said in the Liar Liar post applies here — I love the courtroom setting for both drama and comedy and it lends itself perfectly to rapid-fire exchanges between characters. This is the other courtroom comedy we were talking about then, and it makes it to #16 largely on the strength of Joe Pesci’s ridiculous portrayal of Vinny Gambini.
There are two sets of great back-and-forths in this movie: the ones between Vinny and overwhelmed witnesses, and the ones between Vinny and the judge. Poor Vinny keeps ending up in jail overnight because he can’t seem to avoid being held in contempt, between his outfit and his demeanor and his casual disregard for the entire proceeding. But he redeems himself by gradually picking apart the inconsistencies in witness testimony, even over such trivial details as how long it takes to cook grits or which cars leave certain tire marks.
Marisa Tomei, Ralph Macchio and Fred Gwynne are also a lot of fun here, and when you put together all these combustible (yet silly) elements, you have a surprise hit that is one of my favorite films to stumble upon when flipping channels.
Cary: Well damn if that ain’t the Karate Kid?! was my first thought upon seeing My Cousin Vinny. Granted, so much about this movie is hilarious (Joe Pesci’s courtroom scenes are downright amazing to watch) but it took a number of viewings before I could accept that Ralph Macchio wasn’t all up in there sweeping the leg. Plus, wasn’t Marisa Tomei, like, the cutest thing ever? I had a friend would could recite her whole biological clock scene perfectly and wit’ dat accent, besides.
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