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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.07%
Worth A Look: 28.78%
Pretty Bad: 13.67%
Total Crap: 6.47%

13 reviews, 61 user ratings

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Whole Nine Yards, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"Silly slapstick, well-acted and directed with a sure hand."
4 stars

I like Jonathan Lynn. He makes unashamedly goofball comedies, like My Cousin Vinny and Greedy and Clue. They're the type of film that make most critics say something stupid like "...recalls the screwball comedies of the 30's..." Well, I don't know anything about that, but I laugh when goofy broad comedy is done well.

Will The Whole Nine Yards earn any Oscar nominations? No. Will it even be remembered in three months? Maybe not. Will it make you giggle and keep you interested? Yeah, probably. It's a "kitchen-sink" affair, and how much you like it probably depends on how you feel about the actors involved.

The Whole Nine Yards is one of these real plot-heavy comedies, with lots of twists and alleged surprises. To its credit, there are quite a few inventive ideas and one or two clever bits. The plot has a former mob hitman move in next door to an uptight dentist. After the first five minutes, the plot keeps moving. Granted, there are some slow spots and plot holes, but there's really no reason to analyze a movie like this too deeply. Oz (the dentist) and Jimmy (the hitman) quickly become embroiled in some caper involving the mob and a whole LOT of money. It moves at a brisk clip, which helps as you quickly forget how really silly all of it is. With a comedy, everything depends on the actors playing in straight, slapstick even more so.

Bruce Willis plays it smirky and laid-back. I was hoping for maybe a little more wackiness on his part, but we don't want to squander any opportunity for Die Hard 4. Matthew Perry could be accused of doing his whole Chandler from Friends schtick all over again, but I'm beginning to think that's just him. Either way, he's damn funny here and actually does some quality acting. His pratfalls (slamming into glass doors, throwing up, and basically acting like a lunatic) hit the mark with surprising accuracy, especially given the crappiness of his previous movies (Fools Rush In, Almost Heroes). Kevin Pollak shows up to play a silly gangster, and a Kevin Pollak sighting is always OK by me. Natasha Henstridge doesn't do much to disprove the fact that as an actress, she's just staggeringly beautiful. But the hidden surprise of this movie is Amanda Peet. Much has already been written about her performance, and it's all pretty much true. She brings a playfulness to every scene she's in, and she single-handedly elevates the entire movie. Oh yeah, Roasanna Arquette is also on hand to play a nasty French-Canadian bitch. I didn't much care for the degree of annoyingness she brought to her role.

I can safely recommend this one to fans of Willis, Perry, or just silly and lightweight comedies. It offers equal doses of real silliness and some touches of solid dark comedy. There are good gags scattered throughout, and more than a few solid laughs. Your best bet is to ignore the inanity of the plot and enjoy the performances. Willis occasionally shows up with something funny, Perry is on his game, and Amanda Peet steals the show.

It's an entertaining and goofy diversion. I'm not too tough to please when it comes to silly stuff, so I'm kind of a softie with movies like these. When actors jump in with both feet like this, you either go along for the ride or you don't. I did.

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originally posted: 02/29/00 09:45:09
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell fun if slight 3 stars
12/29/09 Dane Youssef A fun lightweight dark comedy from John Lynn. The cast deserves a whole Oscar. 4 stars
12/19/09 Jeff Wilder Lightweight yet fun. 3 stars
7/29/09 the dork knight It doesn't get funnier if Chandler slams into walls 500 times. I liked Arquette and Peet. 2 stars
12/15/07 Pamela White Bruce makes a better hitman than comedian but Perry keeps the laughs coming 4 stars
10/16/06 Charles Tatum Perry tries, some laughs and Peet's boobs save it 3 stars
8/25/05 ES I occassionally like mayo on my burger and fries 2 stars
6/05/05 Ubu the Ripper OK if you have nothing else to do and no one to do it with. 3 stars
4/24/05 DM Enjoyable, well-acted, goofy fluff 4 stars
3/11/05 Jeff Anderson Pretty funny & Peet is a STANDOUT! David Franco's ugly lensing of Montreal is poor, though! 3 stars
3/10/05 Fake Name Here Funny fluff, Arquette weirdly hysterical 4 stars
8/12/04 DJ ROXORZ JOO 5 stars
7/11/04 gag started off well....then turned down right ludicrous. fuck the dick head director 1 stars
4/24/04 J An entertaining movie! *** 4 stars
4/12/04 R.W. Welch Mildly amusing mob comedy, good turn by Willis. 3 stars
10/19/03 Curious George very good 5 stars
10/17/03 Josh Standlee Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry are a perfect combination! It's one hell of a funny movie! 5 stars
10/09/03 Tomo very good movie 5 stars
8/06/03 Kamie Hey i liked it, im lookin forward to the second one 4 stars
5/27/03 JoeSco Better than a Perry film should be and Natasha and Amanda are hot 4 stars
4/17/03 Andrew Carden Henstridge and Peet Provide Sex Appeal...but The Film Is Rarely Funny and Overlong. 2 stars
10/20/02 Paul Amanda Peet holding a gun, naked, is definately worth a look 4 stars
5/18/02 Dark Barøn Perry, drop the Chandler jokes already. Everything else was fine. 4 stars
4/01/02 Jim Chandler Bing meets the Sopranos; dumb cops steal the movie at the end 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver The plot is quite clever. Loved the comedy. 4 stars
12/29/01 Doug Very funny. 5 stars
10/31/01 Casey GREAT MOVIE, i think i saw it about 20 times, Matthew Perry is the hottest man alive! 5 stars
10/30/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Bruce Willis is pretty cool, Matthew Perry's funny, and Amanda Peet's hot. 3 stars
10/06/01 The $1.98 Pyramid Good. 3 stars
8/06/01 badfish Gotta love Brucie Baby! 5 stars
7/06/01 Roy Smith Mathew Perry is useless but Willis is a pro. 4 stars
5/05/01 The Chosen One Perry's a fuck up, but Peet makes it worth it 4 stars
2/19/01 Katie Excellent 5 stars
2/19/01 Phil M. Afficianado TheAngryJew's review is right on. It brightened a night on the road in a cheap motel room. 4 stars
2/19/01 Nic Saw it once - Would almost for sure never see it again. 3 stars
2/19/01 nicky the whole nine yards is awesome and matthew perry is so sexy 5 stars
1/10/01 Redbird The presence of Rosanna Arquette and Amanda Peete are enough to make this movie watchable 4 stars
10/22/00 Gremlin Well, I thought it was funny. 5 stars
10/02/00 Trina I like anything with WIllis in it 4 stars
9/06/00 Melis disappointing 3 stars
8/08/00 scott It was a real turd....but the tits were nice. 2 stars
7/25/00 Monday Morning There are more laughs in any average TV sitcom. Very disappointing. 2 stars
7/24/00 The Bomb 69 few laughs, a VERY average movie 3 stars
4/11/00 Ernie Levesque Leave your morals behind and sit back and enjoy! 4 stars
4/04/00 Belinda A video job if that! 2 stars
4/02/00 LucyB Fun Movie. Some Hillarious scenes.Credit goes to Mathew for all the best parts. 4 stars
3/31/00 Bruce A comedy right? So where are the laughs? 2 stars
3/16/00 Debra Worst movie I've seen in years. Dull, dull, dull !!!! 1 stars
3/14/00 Efman Fluffy first date flick... whats with the graphic killings?? 4 stars
3/08/00 Tom Burg the only reason you would think it's funny is because the ads told you it was 1 stars
3/03/00 Jackie Hilarious!!! Bruce & Matthew are brilliant! 5 stars
3/02/00 Sherry It was hilarious! 5 stars
2/29/00 Rachem A renter if I ever saw one. 3 stars
2/29/00 Zaw Oo Good ending. 5 stars
2/27/00 Jason Kallelis Great movie! Go see it. 4 stars
2/26/00 Poetcdh Funny film 4 stars
2/25/00 Allan Highly entertaining. Loved hating Rosana Arquette. 5 stars
2/21/00 Lindsay Alright. 3 stars
2/21/00 voyant bruce willis should play hitmen more often 4 stars
2/16/00 Andi very funny...not disappointing 3 stars
2/16/00 Amy wait for the video 3 stars
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