Mickey Blue Eyes

Welcome to another movie in which Hugh Grant plays a stammering, somewhat repressed Briton! Okay, so this isn’t a major stretch for Hugh, playing a straightlaced auctioneer at a prestigious auction house. He’s decided to propose to his girlfriend (Jeanne Tripplehorn) – only to find out her dad’s in the Mafia! What fun! Hilarious hijinks follow, involving miscommunication and mistaken identity.

Ok, so since Grant’s such an appealing guy and is playing an appealing character, we know he’ll somehow triumph in the end. But that’s not why we’re watching, is it? The thing is, this movie would seem rather pedestrian if it weren’t for the performance James Caan turns in as the father. You expect, from the previews, that Grant will have to pass himself off as a Mafia guy to someone – if this were a normal film, that someone would be the girl’s father. Not this time! Caan’s in on it, and that’s where a lot of the fun in Mickey Blue Eyes comes into play. Nothing’s funnier than seeing Hugh Grant try to talk the Italian talk! So Caan’s tough and funny, and Grant’s endearing and bumbling, so that leaves us with only one main character to gripe about: Tripplehorn.

I’ll say it right upfront: I’ve never been a Tripplehorn fan. When I saw her in Basic Instinct, I was almost relieved when Michael Douglas started messing around with Sharon Stone. And when I saw her in Waterworld, I looked for another female character just so Kevin Costner wouldn’t have to be with her. (Darn the luck.) I don’t think she’s very talented as an actress, with a very limited range of expression. And she’s not even good-looking, with a hideous overbite that would put a beaver to shame. And that wouldn’t be as much of a problem if she weren’t in all these movies playing attractive, sexual women (except for Basic Instinct, of course). Watching her slobber all over Hugh Grant made my stomach churn and my skin crawl.

But seriously, that’s just a minor quibble. Overall, this movie has a lot of appeal, with likable characters and just plain good, funny writing.



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