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'The Whole Nine Yards'

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 18, 2000


    'The Whole Nine Yards' Matthew Perry (left) plays Bruce Willis's neighbor in "The Whole Nine Yards."
(Warner Bros.)
Groan: Another of those "zany" romantic comedies starring a cheeseball star from a sitcom series. But this Matt Perry vehicle is funnier than anyone could hope to expect. Perry (from TV's "Friends") is funny, a comedian of impeccable – if cheesily telegenic – timing. He plays Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky, a hapless dentist living in Canada (where, oh so coincidentally, movie production costs are low), who discovers to his horror that his new neighbor, Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis), is a mafia hitman in hiding.

I'll try and pare down the dumb scenario: Oz's French-Canadian wife, Sophie (Rosanna Arquette) is plotting to kill her husband so she can collect the life-insurance payoff. She sends Oz to Chicago, ostensibly to make him cash in on The Tulip's whereabouts. But Oz, who doesn't really want to be doing this, falls in love with Tulip's wife (Natasha Henstridge) whom The Tulip wants to kill.

Meanwhile, Oz's assistant (Amanda Peet) falls in love with – OK, you don't need to hear any more. The point is, this low-rent "Analyze This" is about two performers having fun with their roles. Perry's great at being beside himself with fear, but trying to maintain composure through the worst of experiences, including a beating from Jimmy's bruiser-friend Frankie Figs (Michael Clarke Duncan). And Willis makes a charming, sweet-natured rogue who just hates to plug his victims, but business is business.

THE WHOLE NINE YARDS (R, 103 minutes) – Contains nudity, obscenity and violence.

© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company


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