My, campers. How time flies.
Twenty years ago, this week, that den of liberal depravity called Hollywood produced a pearl.
Twenty years ago, this week, 20th Century Fox released "My Cousin Vinny."
You know what this means? Many of the associates at my firm were not old enough to see this movie without their parents in tow when it came out.
Yeah. Think on that for a minute.
I would never have thought that it had been that long, but the nice folks at the Abnormal Use Blog pointed it out. They are generating some nationwide blawgbuzz about the anniversary.
After the jump is my little contribution.
For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, first, I'm sorry you have been living under a rock for two full decades. You have missed out on all the cultural references and allusions of this cinematic masterpiece.
The plot: a classic northern/southern/red state/blue state tale set in a small town in Alabama. "Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in rural Alabama while on their way back to college, and one of their cousins--an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer not accustomed to Southern rules and manners--comes in to defend them." (Internet Movie Database).
As preposterous as it seems, one can imagine a northeastern governor in such a town saying "y'all" and talking about grits and stuff. I know. Could never happen.
Aside from Marisa Tomei's deservedly Oscar winning performance as the out-of-work-hairdresser/fiance/automotive expert, we are also treated to many invaluable life lessons and practice pointers during the film
First, the importance of first impressions and acting "lawyerly" before the bench--treating the court with the dignity and respect that it deserves:
Or the importance of punctuality, lest the court suspect that you're "on drugs."
When speaking to the jury, be direct and to the point--but not too direct.
Don't ask a witness--especially an expert witness--a question to which you do not know the answer:
Enhance the persuasive power of expert testimony by heightening drama: "I would LOVE to hear DIS."
And most of all, one must gracefully balance the pressures of work with the home front whilst in trial:
Vincent Laguardia Gambini, you are my mentor. Nay, you are my real American hero. 20 years on, this film still has it.