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FULL SYNOPSIS

In the same year that a hit cable television series, The Sopranos, successfully mined the same premise, this comedy about a mobster seeking advice from a psychiatrist was a box office winner for director Harold Ramis. Billy Crystal stars as Dr. Ben Sobel, a New York shrink who's becoming a little bored with his upscale but neurotic clientele. Into Sobel's practice comes a guy with legitimate problems, Mafia kingpin Paul Viti (Robert DeNiro), a godfather who is being reduced to tears and panic attacks by stress and his guilt over his beloved father's assassination. Intimidated but also fascinated by Viti, Dr. Sobel becomes frustrated when his mob boss patient becomes a full-time occupation, as Viti summons the psychiatrist for his professional help at all hours and in all places, even including the doctor's Florida wedding to TV reporter Laura MacNamara (Lisa Kudrow). In the meantime, a power struggle is brewing with Viti's long-time rival Primo Sidone (Chazz Palminteri), but Viti begins employing the feel-good self-help jargon and techniques he's learned from Dr. Sobel to keep his enemy off balance. Just as the therapist and his powerful patient are making breakthroughs, the FBI attempts to persuade Sobel that Viti is going to have him murdered, leading to a nearly lethal misunderstanding. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

  • Release date:March 5, 1999

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Robert De Niro Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1999 Nominee

Cast

Robert De Niro
as Paul Vitti
Billy Crystal
as Ben Sobel
Lisa Kudrow
as Laura MacNamara
Joe Viterelli
as Jelly
Chazz Palminteri
as Primo Sindone
Bill Macy
as Isaac Sobel
Leo Rossi
as Carlo Mangano
Kyle Sabihy
as Michael Sobel
Rebecca Schull
as Dorothy Sobel
Molly Shannon
as Caroline
Max Casella
as Nicky Shivers
Pat Cooper
as Salvatore Masiello
Jimmie Ray Weeks
as Agent Steadman
Elizabeth Bracco
as Marie Vitti
Tony Darrow
as Moony
Donnamarie Recco
as Sheila
Michael Harkins
as Paretti's Family

Crew

Harold Ramis
Director
Jane Rosenthal
Producer
Paula Weinstein
Producer
Peter Tolan
Screen Story
Peter Tolan
Screenwriter
Kenneth Lonergan
Screenwriter
Kenneth Lonergan
Screen Story
Harold Ramis
Screenwriter
Stuart Dryburgh
Cinematographer
Howard Shore
Composer (Music Score)
Wynn P. Thomas
Production Designer
Len Amato
Co-producer
Suzanne Herrington
Associate Producer
Chris Brigham
Executive Producer
Bruce Berman
Executive Producer
Billy Crystal
Executive Producer
Les Lazarowitz
Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Haley
First Assistant Director
Laura Rosenthal
Casting
Ellen Chenoweth
Casting
Elizabeth Shelton
Assistant Costume Designer
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