The Whole Nine Yards (** ½) – Warner Bros. completes its mob comedy trilogy with Analyze This, Mickey Blue Eyes and now The Whole Nine Yards, a film which ranks somewhere in between those other two films – way under DeNiro & Crystal and marginally above Hugh Grant. And it’s disappointing on a whole, not just because of the talent involved, but because all the elements are there for a terrific comedy and they don’t all come together.The first 45 minutes of the Jackal vs. Chandler Bing are basically played as the ascending climb of a roller coaster and produces very few genuine laughs. And all this would be OK if the resulting drop resembled a coaster at Six Flags and not the Go-Gator. The best section of the film is its second act as all the dots start connecting and the laughs start hitting more quickly. Some nice plot twists accentuate the comedy and gives one the hope that we’re in for a true comic ride. But those hopes are dashed during the third act wrap-up where the scattered laughs and minimal suspense return. Everyone in the cast has nice moments. Rosanna Arquette seems to be having fun with her role as Perry’s bitchy French wife, but her character just isn’t very funny. Bruce Willis doesn’t have much to do during the film, dealing with a script that misuses the comic talent he does possess. Matthew Perry is really trying here, trying to make the material work ending every scene with something funny to say or watch. He’s a gifted comic actor, gets nearly all the laughs (sometimes by just reacting) and it’s only a matter of time before he finds the right script. Michael Clarke Duncan makes the most of what could have been another throwaway part for him in the wake of his star turn in The Green Mile. Natasha Henstridge’s character isn’t much of a character at all as you never quite believe if she really likes Perry’s dentist or if she has a secret agenda. The script doesn’t give her the screen time to develop that so she never comes off like a Girl Friday or an Evelyn Mulwray. But Amanda Peet gets the breakout performance of the film, with an infectious smile and comic timing, she finds the perfect note for a character in a screwball comedy.Jonathan Lynn, is a fine comedy director who got everything right with My Cousin Vinny, another heavily plotted screwballesque comedy but can’t pull the strings together here on what should have been a surefire premise to skewer suburbia, the mob and marriage. Screwball comedy depends on its characters and how they react to the situation they find themselves in. Just having the situation isn’t enough and it adds up to a comedy that is truly hit and miss.