By EW Staff
Updated February 11, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST
Pierre Vinet

Perry puts his trademark chagrined sarcasm to work as Oz, a depressed Canadian dentist married to a horrid harpy (Arquette) who wants him rubbed out. His mundane life turns chaotic when a mobster on the lam (Willis) moves in next door, and things get REALLY bad when Oz falls for the made man’s estranged wife (Henstridge).

For those suffering from Mafia fatigue — in the wake of ”Analyze This,” ”Mickey Blue Eyes,” and ”The Sopranos” — Perry says fuhgeddaboudit: ”This isn’t that much of a Mob movie — it’s much more in the vein of ‘The In-Laws.”’ Willis (who coproduced) also had a classic Hollywood comedy in mind. ”He said he wanted it to be fast, sometimes so fast that there’s overlapping dialogue,” says Lynn. ”He said, The way we used to do it on ‘Moonlighting.”’

Fast it was: Working with a limited budget (about $20 million), Lynn changed the script’s original locale from Miami to Montreal to save on shooting costs, and the whole of ”Nine Yards” was filmed in 35 days. ”Before we started shooting,” recalls Perry, ”[Lynn] called me and said, ‘Would it be possible for you to show up with all your lines memorized?’ I was like, ‘I know you’re British, I know you’re very smart — absolutely not, though.”’ BUZZ FACTOR: 4

Go to the official website.

The Whole Nine Yards

  • Movie
  • R
  • 97 minutes
  • Jonathan Lynn