Joe Pesci puts in a lovable underdog turn as a hopelessly inept lawyer battling to prove himself in his first case. Tale has coarse Brooklynite Pesci called upon by family members to help his college-age cousin Bill (Ralph Macchio) out of a jam in the Deep South.
Seems Bill and his pal Stan (Mitchell Whitfield) were mistakenly nabbed for the murder of a store clerk. The lovable loser lawyer and his mouthy but beautiful girlfriend, Lisa (Marisa Tomei), must go to Alabama to extricate the pair. Their secret weapon will be Vinny’s talent for argument, demonstrated for the audience in a latenight set-to with Tomei. Pic’s running joke is that Vinny can’t stay awake in court.
Tomei, sashaying through the proceedings as kind of a sexy hood ornament, creates a buoyant chemistry with her combative b.f. Macchio and Whitfield are stuck in poorly drawn roles. Filmed mostly in Monticello, Ga, pic is somewhat disappointing in production aspects.
1992: Best Supp. Actress (Marisa Tomei)