The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

R   |    |  Comedy, Crime


The Whole Nine Yards (2000) Poster

A struggling dentist's life is turned upside down when a famous gangster moves in next door, and his wife convinces him to inform a notorious mob boss about the gangster's whereabouts.


6.7/10
108,285

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  • Rosanna Arquette at an event for The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
  • Bruce Willis as Jimmy
  • Hank Azaria at an event for The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
  • Matthew Perry as Nick
  • Matthew Perry as Nick
  • Hank Azaria at an event for The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

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10 November 2009 | moviesleuth2
8
| Great Friday Night Flick
Now here is a rare breed: a mainstream movie that works at just about every level without dumbing anything down or making the average viewer think too hard. "The Whole Nine Yards" is a great movie to simply sit back and enjoy.

Nicholas "Oz" Ozeransky (Matthew Perry) is a mild-mannered dentist whose stuck with a wife who hates him (Rosanna Arquette in a hilariously over-the-top performance) and a huge debt that his partner (his father-in-law) left him when he kicked the bucket. Then his new neighbor moves in. This neighbor, much to Oz's horror, is none other than Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis), the infamous hit-man for the Gogolak gang. Oz's wife tells him that they should rat Jimmy out to the Gogolaks to get a "finder's fee." Oz obviously refuses, but agrees to go when his wife agrees that if he does this, she'll give him a divorce. Thus begins a hilarious story of double crosses, new romances, and hamburgers with mayonnaise.

The cast is first rate. Matthew Perry is in full panic-mode, and his reactions to the situations he finds himself in (and their resulting consequences) are hilarious. Bruce Willis is perfectly cast as Jimmy. It's a typecast role, but Willis plays him with a slight tongue-in-cheek. It works wonderfully. While it allows for plenty of laughs, it also gives him an air of menace, which adds another layer to the humor. We are aware of Jimmy's capacity for violence, but the way Willis plays it results in moments of laughter mixed with suspense. Natasha Henstridge radiates a cool sexuality mixed with vulnerability as Jimmy's ex-wife who falls for Oz. Michael Clarke Duncan is also well-cast as Jimmy's fellow hit-man, Frankie. Kevin Pollack and Rosanna Arquette are so over-the-top that their performances must be seen to be believed.

But as good as this cast is, and it's great, the film is stolen from all of them by newcomer Amanda Peet. It takes a great performer to steal scenes with actors at the top of their game. But Peet didn't just steal her scenes, she walked away with the whole movie. Peet is positively delightful as Oz's ditzy receptionist, who has more of a part to play in this than anyone realizes. Peet is hysterical; her performance should have at least gotten her an Oscar nod, if not a win.

"The Whole Nine Yards" is a mix of film-noir and screwball comedy. Director Jonathan Lynn has a lot of fun with the conventions of each genre, including mixing and matching the character traits of the femme-fatale and the "good girl" (you'll see what I mean when you watch the movie). What I really liked is that the humor of the movie is not over-the-top exaggeration humor (like The Farrelly Brothers). This is more about timing and dialogue; it's like a 1930's screwball comedy without the Hays Code. To be sure, the film does not leave out the trademark of the noir genre: the twisty plot. "The Whole Nine Yards" boasts plenty of surprises, and quite a bit of suspense. Just because this is a comedy doesn't mean you can tell where it's going.

Mixing these two genres would seem impossible because more often than not, one would dilute the other. But Lynn manages to walk the line between the two opposite genres and play them both equally well. The film is well-paced, and the timing on the jokes is perfect. There are no over-the-top visual effects, and that's a good thing.

"The Whole Nine Yards" may not be classic film material, but it's highly entertaining. And with a movie like this, that's just about all that one could ask for.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The whole nine yards phrase is from the 13th century, it is a bolt of fabric or 9 yards..when a monk would be walking up to purchase a monks habit, the tailor would say "Here comes the whole nine yards." As , it took 9 yards of fabric to create the monks habit, hence the term, the whole nine yards. That's one explanation. Others include the use of cloth for saris, kilts, and burial shrouds. Another uses it in the sense of cubic yards of concrete, and another from the length of a machine gun belt from a British Vickers machine gun. But no use has been traced to any time before about 1850.


Quotes

Jimmy: But just so you know, I am disappointed, Oz. I am extremely disappointed with you.
Oz: Believe me, you are the last person I would ever want to disappoint, but everything I everything I did, was for love.
Jimmy: Yeah, whatever.


Goofs

When Jimmy, Frankie and Oz are leaving the club and walking down the sidewalk, the crew is reflected in the club's windows behind them.


Crazy Credits

Leanna McOemmecon is listed in the credits as the stand in for Rosanna Arquette, when it should read Leanna McLennan. (I worked as a stand in for Rosanna Arquette while filming in Quebec. The correct spelling of my name is Leanna McLennan. Each day, my name would be spelled differently on the call sheet - McLean, etc. Each day, I would correct it. In the end, I am listed in the credits as Leanna McOemmecon, which I find quite amusing.)


Alternate Versions

On most TV Broadcasts, including TBS, Jill although naked has her left arm covering her breasts.


Soundtracks

I Don't Worry About A Thing
Written and Performed by
Mose Allison
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Crime

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