Marisa Tomei stole my heart in 1992 as Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny. Yes she is quite sexy and beautiful, but that was not what stole my heart. And yes, she is cute as could be, but that is not what stole my heart. And yes Marisa Tomei is just an all around sweetheart that is cute, sexy, hot, and always fashion conscious, but these things are not what stole my heart.
What stole my heart was the heart of her character Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny, and the portrayal of her relationship with Vinny Gambini, played by Joe Pesci.
First she accompanies Vincent Gambini on a business trip, in the car, from Brooklyn, New York all the way to Beechum County, Alabama. A place way out of their comfort zone. And she then continues to bicker sarcastically with Vinny about the whole adventure. Chinese food. Blending-in in the deep south. Marisa plays the supporting role of a lead character’s girlfriend with out flaw.
On the other hand, through all the sarcasm she encourages Vinny and, most of the time, stands at the ready to help in any way she can. She is continuously turned down for help, as Vinny wants to do this all on his own. However, the look on her face at his first attempt of Alabama court, as he fails miserably, is surprise and worry for her beloved.
Then once he is charged with contempt of court and bails him out of jail, she immediately greets him arms around him and a kiss. I love that she is taller than him and walks with her arm around him over his shoulder.
Throughout their time in Alabama she continuously questions him about the case and procedure in this Southern judicial system. Even calls him out when he fails saying that he doesn’t look as though he knows what he is doing, continuing to engage him about the entire experience, calling him out when she doubts that he knows what he is doing. All because she loves him and wants to see him succeed. She even seems to know that he wants to do this on his own. The venacular in her statements seem more to make him think through things rather than just telling him what he needs to do. She comes accross to the viewer as possibly smarter than him but doesn’t wish to break Vinny’s ego. Amazing!! She’s amazing. She knows when to directly call him out, and she knows when to gently encourage him showing her love and belief and support for his ability to succeed in this case. She has even learned to speak his language as she defends, as if in a court of law, that she did turn off the dripping faucet.
Of course this leads to a more intimate exchange.
Later when Vinny begins to doubt his ability to win this case. He knows that he has a best friend in her. He opens up about his fear of loosing this case. She tells him “I think that once you’re out there, and you’re doing your thing out there, I think your’re gonna be really great. Really great.” and kisses his forehead. It’s not the words that impacted me. It is how she looks at him, the look on her face as she gazes upon this man that she loves. The light reflecting in her eyes and the soft look on her face…total relentless love. Untainted by his or her flaws. Untainted by situation. Untainted by success or failure. That is the moment I swooned for her.
That is the moment that I lost my heart to Mona Lisa Vito.
So…In an act of love, I’m sure, she begins to read the book on Alabama law and precedure. Then when he takes it from her, she calls him out on things he should already know like Disclosure in this case, even calling him a “dickhead”. Ah such love (and beauty).
And even after this exchange she beems with pride and joy when Vinny begins to make positive headway in court.
This is the sign of not just lovers but also of best friends!!
And of course we all loved her in this scene!!!
Leave a Reply