While it wasn't so fun to get "Smoke on the Water" playing on repeat in my brain after our EIC Erik Davis sent me the idea for this double feature, it's been great to reminisce about two films from the early '90s that dealt with fish out of water themes -- My Cousin Vinny and Doc Hollywood. One is an Oscar winner, and the other is a fluffy comedy, but both perfectly embody that moment in time -- the beginning of a new decade and the next step for some of the biggest names of the 1980's. On the one hand, you have Ralph Macchio, and on the other, the unbeatable Michael J. Fox. One might be up for murder while the other gets to save lives, but in both cases, they're guys who prefer the city, but get ensnared in small town life.

Keep that popcorn in the cupboard, pick up some fish and chips, and enjoy!


My Cousin Vinny



On the one hand, you've got the story. Two "youts" -- Billy Gambini (Ralph Macchio) and Stan Rothenstein (Mitchell Whitfield) are traveling through Alabama when they forget to pay for a can of tuna. They leave the store and soon find themselves in jail and awaiting trial when the store clerk is shot and killed. One can never underestimate the power of familial connections, and Billy's cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci) comes to save the day -- a fish in a very unfamiliar pond. He looks to be just a spastic Brooklynite with a saucy girlfriend (Marisa Tomei). However, first impressions aren't all they're cracked up to be, and it turns out that Vinny is just what the two guys need to break free.

On the other hand, you have the cast. It's just plain great. You've got Pesci, who rocks as Vinny, Tomei, who won an Oscar for her performance, and Macchio, who shows that there's more to him than his time as a karate kid. But that's just the first layer. There's greats like Austin Pendleton and Bruce McGill, but best of all -- Fred Gwynne, in his last performance, plays Judge Chamberlain Haller. Really, what else do you need?

Mona Lisa Vito in her god-awful, super-tight, floral body suit talks about what she's nervous about.

Vinny plans to go hunting, and Mona Lisa mourns the future slain dear.

The Judge feels mocked.

Owls aren't safe when Vinny is around.


Doc Hollywood



And then there's Michael J. Fox's Doc Hollywood. Fox plays Dr. Ben Stone, a hotshot new doctor who hasn't made friends working in the emergency room, and jumps at the chance to become a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. However, he ends up crashing in a rural community in South Carolina and must perform 32 hours of community service in the local hospital. He fights against his big-city urges and just how drawn he is to the people of this small town -- especially Julie Warner's Lou.

When it comes down to it, he has to choose which shoes to follow -- those of Barnard Hughes, who plays Dr. Aurelius Hogue in the small town, or George Hamilton, who fixes faces in California as Doctor Halberstrom. Is it really any choice? Hamilton is great and all, but only one guy can fight vampires as a Grandpa (Lost Boys). Sadly, Hughes passed away in 2006, but his work lives on.

Stone rides around with a weepy cab driver.

"The One and Only" opening credits.

Woody Wittman rants about Cars ripping off Doc Hollywood.

Fox pimps Pepsi.

Fox pops on Rachael Ray last year.