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The Whole Nine Yards (17-Feb-2000)

Director: Jonathan Lynn

Writer: Mitchell Kapner

Original Score by: Randy Edelman

Producers: David Willis; Allan Kaufman

Keywords: Crime/Comedy, Witness Protection, Dentists, Hitman

A Canadian dentist struggling for cash becomes a neighbor to a wanted hitman, compelled to travel to Chicago to inform the mob boss who wants him dead.

Nicholas Oseransky, a fledgling Montreal dentist scrounging for cash to pay off his debts and divorce his wife, becomes a neighbor to wanted "hitman with a heart" Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski. Aware of his background, Nicholas' wife urges him to head to Chicago to tell mob boss Yanni what he knows about Tuedeski's whereabouts and collect a "finder's fee" on his head; meanwhile, his wife tells Jimmy of the ordeal behind his back, hoping to collect Nicholas' life insurance policy after he is picked off. Hijinks mount when Nicholas strikes up a romantic connection with Jimmy's estranged wife, setting the stage for a ridiculous spoof about an everyman placed in the middle of a mob dispute.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Rosanna Arquette
10-Aug-1959   Desperately Seeking Susan
Michael Clarke Duncan
10-Dec-1957 3-Sep-2012 The Green Mile
Natasha Henstridge
15-Aug-1974   Species
Amanda Peet
11-Jan-1972   Touch Me
Matthew Perry
19-Aug-1969   Chandler on Friends
Kevin Pollak
30-Oct-1957   Host of Celebrity Poker
Harland Williams
14-Nov-1962   Rocket Man
Bruce Willis
19-Mar-1955   Die Hard


Bruce Willis   ...   Jimmy Tudeski
Matthew Perry   ...   Oz Oseransky
Rosanna Arquette   ...   Sophie
Michael Clarke Duncan   ...   Frankie Figs
Natasha Henstridge   ...   Cynthia
Amanda Peet   ...   Jill
Kevin Pollak   ...   Janni Gogolak
Harland Williams   ...   Agent Hanson
Carmen Ferlan   ...   Sophie's Mom
Serge Christianssens   ...   Mr. Boulez
Renée Madelaine Le Guerrier   ...   Waitress
Jean-Guy Bouchard   ...   Mover
Howard Bilerman   ...   Dave Martin
Johnny Goar   ...   Hungarian Hood
Deano Clavet   ...   Polish Pug
Stephanie Biddle   ...   Jazz Singer
Charles Biddle   ...   Bass Player
Geoff Lapp   ...   Pianist
Gary Gold   ...   Drummer
Robert Burns   ...   Mr. Tourette
France Arbour   ...   Mrs. Boulez
Sean Devine   ...   Sgt. Buchanan
Richard Jutras   ...   Agent Morrissey
Mark Camacho   ...   Interrogator #1
Joanna Noyes   ...   Interrogator #2
John Moore   ...   Bank Manager


Review by Walter Frith (posted on 8-Jun-2007)

'The Whole Nine Yards' plays out with a series of in-jokes, no doubt many of them planned and executed by the cast but has a few too many pratfalls for its own good and also has, at the root of its story, a lining of old fashioned material greed as its theme. It tries to be many things.....a comedy, an intriguing thriller, a mob story, a take on marriage, a depiction of the theory about honour among criminals and last but not least, it tries to be entertaining and earns an 'A' for effort. Unfortunately, the film has to throw in stereotypes and some unbelievable finishing touches in its climax where things work out just a bit too perfectly for its own good. Matthew Perry plays a struggling dentist from Chicago named Nicholas Oseransky (later given the nickname Oz) living in Montreal, Canada with his French-Canadian wife Sophie (Rosanna Arquette) and her witch of a mother and the two of them make fun of Oz whenever they can. They accuse him of not being able to make money (with a large debt to pay off), despite being a dentist, and they poke fun of him at every turn. Needless to say, Oz's marriage is on the rocks. His wife and mother-in-law are painted as materialistic and/or evil. Oz comes across as a wimp and lives up to this tag admirably. Oz welcomes his new neighbour, a seemingly nice guy named Jimmy Jones (Bruce Willis)....as he introduces himself that way to Oz. He is in fact Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski, a ruthless Chicago hit man who has killed almost 20 people in his illustrious career and Oz recognizes him from the tattoo on his arm. There is a funny sequence where, upon recognizing Jimmy for who he is, Oz has a noisy flashback in his mind of newspaper articles and other mental passages that clue him into the fact that his new neighbour is a mob connected mass murderer. What a predicament! Oz later breaks the news to his wife about who their new neighbour is and he mentions that rival crime organizations have put a price on Jimmy's head and Sophie forces Oz, reluctantly, by threatening to make his marriage more of a hell than it already is, to go to Chicago and give information to Jimmy's enemies as to his whereabouts and perhaps collect a hefty finder's fee in the process. Upon his arrival in Chicago, Oz is greeted off guard in his hotel room by Frankie Figs (Michael Clarke Duncan), a man who supposedly works for a mob boss named Yanni Gogolack (Kevin Pollak), who wants Jimmy dead. Oz can't figure out how the mob got a hold of the information detailing his arrival and he had no intention of ratting Jimmy out as he later tells a friend he just came to Chicago to get away from 'the bitch'. Oz is caught up in a whirlwind of playing all sides against each other and falls in love along the way with Jimmy's estranged wife Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge). Oz's dental assistant is named Jill (Amanda Peet) and she has a secret fantasy about career choice that we find out about a little too late in the film which gives the film a bitter red herring and many will find it too preposterous to accept. As an overlapping story of double crosses, cleverly woven plot intimacies and character development, 'The Whole Nine Yards' works just fine but as a superlative comedy, it stops just short and reminded me at many times of what the Three Stooges would come off like without belting each once throughout the course of one of their movies. You know, the dialogue without the slapstick finish and the ability to make an alternative form of comedy fall flat without your trade mark finish. No one in this movie has a truly great trade mark for comedy and many of them are not good at comedy at all but some of the in-jokes help. There is a clever reference to mayonnaise put on hamburgers used by Willis as John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson did in their exchange about what's put on french fries in France instead of ketchup in 'Pulp Fiction', which of course, co-starred Willis (and Rosanna Arquette). Arquette seduces a policeman in this movie (Harland Williams) in a rather shameless manner which again, just isn't funny or totally necessary to the plot. She wants to use him for something she can do herself without anyone else being involved or finding out about what she has in mind. Director Jonathan Lynn who has done 'The Distinguished Gentleman', 'My Cousin Vinny' and 'Greedy', lets the comedy spiral out of control at many points and allows his cast to take a few too many liberties with the original material written by Mitchell Kapner and turn it into amateur comedy often seen too much in variety shows and hapless sitcoms (Perry IS from 'Friends'). Still, 'The Whole Nine Yards' runs a very acceptable 98 minutes and all comedies should run well under two hours as most of them in this day and age simply aren't funny and look more recycled than they do original. Not quite the case here but then again, it is still a little too low brow for a recommendation. Visit FILM FOLLOW-UP by Walter Frith

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