My Blue Heaven (1990)
April 25, 2016 9:46 AM - Subscribe

An all too uptight FBI agent must protect a larger than life mobster with a heart of gold, currently under witness protection in the suburbs.
posted by ellieBOA (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is one of those movies I saw about a billion times in my youth, but which I'm reluctant to revisit, for fear of discovering (A) that it might not be that good and (B) all the ways in which I quote it without realizing it.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:50 AM on April 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

I just watched it for the first ever time! Pretty funny!
posted by ellieBOA at 10:01 AM on April 25, 2016

completely can see that!
posted by ellieBOA at 10:09 AM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

This movie featured prominently in my childhood. I hold it in regard that I suspect is significantly higher than its objective merits, and have not dared revisit it as an adult.

I remember it as a bracingly absurd fish-out-of-water / odd-couple story that I once thought hilarious. The stunt casting of Martin as the lead, his makeup and the line readings and incredible smug charm were, I think, one of my first exposures to irony as a kind of humor distinct from and much more subtle than sarcasm. It shouldn't work. Maybe it doesn't work. I remember going along with it anyway.

Also, as we are slowly watching our way through S.2 of Kimmy Schmidt, I'm a little bit annoyed in retrospect at how underused Carol Kane was in My Blue Heaven.
posted by gauche at 10:17 AM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

This was the first movie in which my mother liked Steve Martin. She never appreciated him until this movie. She still thinks it's hilarious so if you're worried about it holding up, it has for her.
posted by miss-lapin at 10:32 AM on April 25, 2016

There's a piece of dialog from this that is one of my all time favorites, but it such a weird, specific, situation-dependent laugh that it never could never make sense outside of this movie. I'm paraphrasing, but:

"Yeah, you have to have probable cause. Thomas Jefferson put that in the Constitution."
"He didn't put in there for you!"
"No, you're wrong, I'm exactly the guy he put it in there for. I am the worst case scenario of Thomas Jefferson's dreams."

And it's true: in terms of trying to imagine in advance who might come along in the future, attempting to exploit your new system of Constitutional rights, a basically well-meaning and community-minded mobster probably is is the best-possible worst-possible outcome.
posted by Ipsifendus at 11:11 AM on April 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

I got to talk with Henry Hill quite a bit when the publisher I was working for at the time was doing his book. He was much more entertaining in person than in print, one of those endlessly entertaining always-on mile-a-minute talkers. Which would get tiresome after a while. We were always happy to see him, and always happy to see him go. You couldn't believe half of what he said, but he told a fine tale.
posted by rikschell at 11:30 AM on April 25, 2016 [6 favorites]

I wish Moranis would start acting again.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:56 PM on April 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Isn't he just waiting for Hollywood to die in a fire?
posted by rhizome at 2:57 PM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is one of those movies in Steve Martin's too-short golden period where he was still creative, but not yet maudlin. For some reason, LA Story is the only one of these I saw, so count me in for a watch if I can find a source for this one.
posted by rhizome at 2:59 PM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I always loved the "My new friend (blank) has his/her problems too" stuff in this.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:24 PM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I am unable to operate a lawn mower without saying, "What a day for a mow, huh?"
posted by peeedro at 6:01 PM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

When Obama was running in '08 and some of the press were trying to make a big deal out of him talking about arugula in Iowa (totally bogus, of course, since it was a locally-grown crop), I kept thinking of, "Arugula. It's a vegetable."
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:06 PM on April 25, 2016 [5 favorites]

I remember seeing an interview with Martin where he said that he and Moranis were originally cast in each other's roles.
posted by bq at 2:34 PM on April 26, 2016

I remember seeing an interview with Martin where he said that he and Moranis were originally cast in each other's roles.

Me too - though my memory is that they had approached Martin first to offer him the FBI agent role, and he said he'd only do it if he could play the mobster, since it would be more fun/something different. I don't think they cast Moranis until after Martin was attached, I assume getting Martin onboard was what got the movie green-lit for them to start casting the rest of the parts.

But the casting was perfect. Martin & Moranis, of course, but I thought Moranis & Joan Cusack were cute together too, and all of the bit parts like William Hickey as the pet shop owner/former mobster. And I never get tired of those dance numbers.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:56 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

We still say, "Arugula. It's a ve-ge-ta-ble," every time we have arugula (which is pretty often). Some things just stick with you.
posted by blurker at 8:05 AM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I can't walk past the frozen foods section without thinking "you could melt all this stuff."
posted by Zonker at 9:30 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

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