True story: In February of 1991, I was working at a three-screen multiplex in Athens, GA, when out of the blue, Joe Pesci walked in with a couple of people I didn’t recognize, to see Sleeping With The Enemy. (Aptly enough, our other two screens at the time were showing Goodfellas and Home Alone.) I remember being so baffled as to why Pesci would be in Georgia that when I was taking his order at the concession stand I froze up for a moment and said “sure” when he asked if we had bottled seltzer—which, being Georgia, we did not. By the time the movie was over, I’d gotten it together enough to ask him to sign a Goodfellas poster for me. One year later, My Cousin Vinny opened at our theater, and I realized not only why Pesci had been in the Athens area in 1991—he’d been shooting in nearby Monticello—but also that one of his companions than night was Marisa Tomei, whom I wouldn’t have recognized back then. Anyway, none of this has anything to with how surprisingly enjoyable My Cousin Vinny turned out to be. (To me, it’s a model for how to make a mainstream, character-driven legal comedy, not to mention one with a culture-clash element.) But I can’t deny that I rooted for the the movie a little harder, knowing that it was made so close to home. My buddy Joe Pesci and the town of Monticello will be on Starz Comedy tonight at 10:10 p.m. Eastern.
February 16, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day