How have I never seen this movie before?! I’ve heard of it for a long time, of course, because I used to be a huge Oscar history aficionado and I knew Marisa Tomei had won a Best Supporting Award for it, but I really knew absolutely nothing else about it. I think I assumed it was something to do with the mob, because Joe Pesci is always something to do with the mob, right?
Turns out it’s about a couple of college kids from New York road-tripping through Alabama; they stop in a convenience store, accidentally shoplift, then get arrested…for the murder of the convenience store clerk. In a panic, one of them (played by The Karate Kid), calls home and gets his Cousin Vinny (Pesci), a lawyer, to come down and help them out. Except Cousin Vinny is BARELY a lawyer, spent six years trying to pass the bar, and has never had a real case in court. What he does have, however, is a whole lot of attitude, which doesn’t always go down well with the very by-the-book judge (a wonderful turn from The Munsters‘ Fred Gwynne).