Making the Grades
With his days on the television series, Friends, quickly coming to an end, Matthew Perry is looking for new avenues to pursue his acting career. Revisiting his character from the dark comedy The Whole Nine Yards, Perry once again plays dentist Nicholas 'Oz' Oseransky, who got mixed up with the mob while trying to dispose of his tiresome wife, Sophie (Rosanna Arquette).
Now happily married to the ex-wife of hit man Jimmy 'The Tulip' Tudeski's (Bruce Willis), Oz is still skittish about his past connections with the underworld. Hunkered down in a highly secured estate, he and Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge) have a top-notch monitoring system and plenty of illegal weapons stashed in their bedroom closet.
However none of that stops mob boss Lazlo Gogolak (Kevin Pollak) from paying the doctor an unexpected visit after being released from prison. Looking for the man who killed his son, Lazlo figures Oz will reveal Jimmy's whereabouts once he discovers the thugs have kidnapped Cynthia.
Meanwhile, the hired gun and his new wife Jill (Amanda Peet) are sunning themselves in Mexico. Although Jill is anxious to resume their life as killers, Jimmy is content being an apron-wearing domestic diva: cleaning the house, cooking gourmet dinners and hand raising a flock of chickens in the backyard. As a result, he is none too happy when the jumpy tooth doctor races up to his hacienda looking for help.
Caught up in bloody and often graphic shootouts with Lazlo's men, the three cohorts race to save Cynthia from the grasp of the gangsters. But Oz soon realizes not everything is as it seems and before long the double-crossing schemes begin to unfold.
The R-rating applied to The Whole Nine Yards may have served as a deterrent for many family viewers but don't expect the PG-13 rating on The Whole Ten Yards to imply it's better. Two full uses of the sexual expletive, frank sexual comments, bare male buttocks and scenes of a woman disrobing are written into the script along with suggestions of sodomy and marital unfaithfulness. Dead bodies, exploding cars and detailed descriptions of murders are all played for comedy.
Being familiar with the first film may make this storyline easier to follow, however, this plot is riddled with more holes than many of the bodies. The film's twists, often more confusing than intriguing, also leave too many questions unanswered.
While Matthew Perry's TV exposure may have given him plenty of teen appeal, families will likely want to steer well clear of his presence in this film-by at least a good ten yards.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Whole Ten Yards.
Oz deals with his fear of the mobsters by relying on security systems and weapons. Why was Cynthia’s approach to life so different? What are your fears and how can you constructively handle them?
Why is it so important to Jimmy to be a father? Do you think he has the qualities to make a good dad? What things from his past would influence him in his parental role?
Repeated phrases and clich0xE9s are common in the English language and are often based on historical events or activities. After much discussion about the origin of the phrase “the whole nine yards,” we found this information: http://phrases.shu.ac.uk/meanings/411150.html.
Home Video Viewing Alternatives
Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to The Whole Ten Yards.
Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis share the screen in Disney’s The Kid, a more family-friendly film about a man who has to face the fears of his past. Before his mob boss portrayal, Kevin Pollak played in the movie That Thing You Do! about an aspiring band on their way to the big league. He also takes on the role of Cupid in the Santa Clause 2.