My Cousin Vinny is a fish out water story and an early 90’s classic.
Bill Gambini (Ralph Macchio) and Stan Rothenstein (Mitchell Whitfield) are college students from New York who received scholarships to UCLA. They decide to take a road trip to California. Stopping in Alabama, Bill and Stan stop at a convenience store for some snacks. As soon as they leave the store they are arrested. Not for shoplifting, as they think, but robbery and murder.
With little money in their pocket, Bill calls home to get a lawyer. The only lawyer than can found is Vincent Laguardia Gambini (Joe Pesci), Bill’s cousin with limited court room experience. Traveling down south with Vinny is his long time fiance Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei). Faced with a judge (Fred Gwynne) who is questioning the defense’s credentials, uncooperative locals and his fiance, Vinny has to find a way to prevent Bill and Stan from wasting their college years in an Alabama jail.
This movie is hilarious. Joe Pesci is perfect as the New York lawyer trying to defend clients in a very traditional southern court. Marisa Tomei earned her Oscar for the her portrayal as Mona Lisa Vito. This movie is 22 years old, but it still holds up. If you only watch one scene from this movie, watch the scene where Marisa Tomei is on the stand. Perfection.
I recommend this movie.