Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
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Mob boss Paul Vitti (ROBERT DE NIRO) is nearing the end of his term in Sing Sing, and the FBI agents monitoring him are baffled. Day after day they watch as New York’s most notorious gangland figure walks around his cell in a semi-catatonic stupor, occasionally breaking into songs from West Side Story. Is Vitti having a nervous breakdown because of recent threats on his life by a rival Family or is his odd behavior merely a foxy ploy to get him sprung from jail early? The FBI isn’t sure and neither is his former psychotherapist Ben Sobel (BILLY CRYSTAL), who gets called in to consult on the case. The last time Sobel treated Vitti he tried to get to the source of his debilitating anxiety attacks, but barely scratched the surface. It will take time to examine the demons still lurking in Vitti’s mind and help put him on the straight and narrow — time that Sobel doesn’t want to give. Not to Vitti. Not now. Truth is, Sobel has problems of his own. His father has just died, plunging him into an identity crisis in both his personal and professional lives. Furthermore, he knows his wife Laura (LISA KUDROW) will be furious if he allows the unpredictable Vitti back into their lives. But when Vitti is granted a conditional release into Sobel’s custody, becoming his patient again and — even worse — his houseguest, the reluctant psychiatrist finds that he has no choice. In order to get peace back in his life he must help the troubled gangster sort out his psyche, find gainful employment and go straight.