The great screen, book, and magazine writer Nora Ephron died yesterday after a battle with cancer, and while the media is rightly remembering Ephron for her excellent, genre-defining romantic comedies — "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle," and "You've Got Mail" among them — I had to take a moment today to acknowledge the greatness of her 1990 comedy "My Blue Heaven." Truth be told, I had no idea Ephron wrote it before I looked up her filmography on IMDB yesterday, but thinking back to all my favorite scenes and lines from the movie, it makes complete sense.
The movie stars Steve Martin as New Yorker Vinnie Antonelli, who, as "Todd Wilkinson," is placed under the Witness Protection Program in suburban San Diego while waiting to testify at a mob-related murder trial. Rick Moranis co-stars as the FBI agent who needs to keep him out of trouble pre-trial, while Joan Cusack is the local D.A. who wants to charge him for the petty crimes he keeps committing. This is a movie that I always find myself quoting, and whenever it comes time to pay the bill at a restaurant, I live by Vinnie's philosophy that "It's not tipping I believe in, it's over-tipping."
If you've never seen "My Blue Heaven," you owe it to yourself to find a copy and watch it immediately. If it's already one of your favorites, check out some of my favorite scenes below (or at least the ones I could find on YouTube).
Above: The shoes are tragic.
Thanksgiving is very big in Italy:
The soup-meat aisle scam:
You could melt all this stuff:
Sense of humor:
The bicycle story: