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Film / Corky Romano

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Corky Romano is 2001 comedy directed by Rob Pritts and starring Chris Kattan as the title character, a veterinary assistant who finds out that his father—who cast him out after his mother died—is a mob boss. Since his connections to the family are severed, Pops Romano (Peter Falk) has Corky infiltrate the FBI to find out what they have on him.

This film contains the following tropes:

  • Accidental Hero: Many of Corky's "successes" while posing as an FBI agent are, in reality, the results of dumb luck and the other characters not really realizing just how much of a bumbling idiot he is.
  • Accidental Pervert: Corky busts his nose while trying to sneak into one of his family's nightclubs and grabs for the first rag he can find while stumbling in the dark. Then one of the club dancers comes in, turns on the lights, and it's revealed Corky's stumbled into the dressing room and that "rag" was a pair of panties. Que a barrage of pepper spray.
  • Action Girl: Kate Russo is a female FBI agent, so naturally she's qualified with a gun. She's also shown to be proficient in martial arts, in particular a Groin Attack she uses later.
  • Berserk Button: Paulie is very sensitive about the fact that he can't read.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Corky gets taken by a group of skinheads, Peter, Paulie, and some thugs burst in to save him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Corky is bumbling, socially inept and ends up in many unfortunate situations over the course of the film.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The "Tang Su Do" move that Russo practices on Corky comes into play when they take out Leo and Brick Davis.
  • Closet Gay: Corky's brother Peter is the "muscle" of the Romano crime family, actively goes to strip clubs with his brother (if only to look at the male bartender), and insists he loves women though he's secretly gay. His family members learn this by the end of the film and accept him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The skinheads who take Corky get this at the hand of Corky's brothers and a couple of mob goons.
  • Dirty Cop: Agent Brick Davis turns out to be "The Night Vulture" one of the US's most wanted heroin dealers and a ruthless murderer.
  • The Ditz: Corky is a total goofball who's very nice but also extremely quirky and clumsy.
  • The Eeyore: Agent Brick Davis spends much of the movie in a perpetually glum mood as he grows increasingly resentful and suspicious of Corky.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Corky's father may be the head of a crime family involved in money laundering, gambling, "and the occasional landscaping," but a murderer he isn't.
  • Fair Cop: Kate Russo is an FBI agent who's also drop dead gorgeous.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: While the underlings certainly act tough (they're not), the Don swears to his son that he's never done anything serious like kidnapping or murder, though his lieutenant had told the FBI he did so they'd take him down and he could take over. However, he does run racketeering, illegal gambling and prostitution. That's all kept offscreen though, which keeps them sympathetic.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Corky is a Kindly Vet who adores animals, repeatedly going out of his way to befriend or help them. When a client wants her cantankerous, sick old cat euthanized, Corky refuses as he just can't kill any living thing. He's an extremely nice, goofy man whom most animals seem to instantly like.
  • Gayngster: Peter, one of the main gangsters, is gay though he denies it for most of the film.
  • Groin Attack: The Tang Su Do. Plus, The Night Vulture is a fan of doing this to his victims.
    Agent Shuster: His last two victims had their genitals severed. When I asked the coroner for the murder weapon he said there was none, that son of a bitch did it with his bare hands!
  • Hidden Wire: Peter and Paulie hide one in Corky's crotch. Corky also has to wear one while infiltrating a group of skinheads.
  • Hired to Hunt Yourself: Brick Davis is on the investigation into the Night Vulture, a ruthless heroin dealer who's murdered multiple rivals. It turns out the Night Vulture's actually him.
  • Honorary Uncle: Leo Corrigan. Until he's revealed to be the informant to the FBI.
  • I Have No Son!: Corky feels his Pops felt this way towards him since Corky was kicked out of the family soon after his mother died. Averted when his father reveals Corky has always been his son, and Corky was cast out because Pops loved Corky and knew he would be destined for better things than just the family business.
  • Impersonating an Officer: The basis of the plot is Corky, a goofy vet, getting put undercover in the FBI for his gangster relatives to get evidence which implicates his father.
  • Infectious Enthusiasm: Some of Corky's quirks begin to rub off on the agents in the FBI, most notably they start wearing flamboyant ties. Agent Davis isn't too pleased with this development.
    Davis: Oh, what? I can't call you by your first name because I'm not part of the Groovy Tie Squad?
  • The Informant: Leo, Pops' right-hand man, is an FBI informant who's given them evidence about his crimes (some of it's fake) so he can take over the business.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Corky accidentally gets high on a bag of cocaine he tries to wrestle from a drug-sniffing dog. He then has to do a speech in front of a group of school children.
    Corky: Question? You gotta question? You do? You don't? You do? You don't? I SHOULD BUY A BOAT!
  • Kindly Vet: The eponymous hero probably qualifies in personality, although in some cases the pets might have been less fortunate in regard to practice.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Corky is practically the only person in the city who honestly believes his family is in the landscaping business. That is mostly due to his being a childlike man but also how his dad made sure to keep him out of things as he knew Corky could be better than the rest of the family.
  • The Mafia: The Romanos are Italian-American gangsters (save Corky) involved with illegal gambling, prostitution and racketeering.
  • Missing Mom: The Romano brothers' mother died sometime past, with his father later saying Corky has a lot of her in him, and that their family started to fell apart with her death.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: The work gives us this wonderful gem from the title character attempting to infiltrate a gang of skinheads: "I was wondering if I could purchase some heroin and then we could go out and commit some hate crimes and stuff." Well, the guy is an assistant vet, whom his The Mafia brothers force to infiltrate the FBI as a top agent. Naturally, Da Chief sends him on the most perilous assignments, figuring it'll be a cakewalk for an agent like that.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Corky is brought in to act as a translator between a Vietnamese and a Thai gangster, since those languages are listed in his profile. He ends up saying things like "hairy pencil".
  • Never Learned to Read: Peter Berg's character. This can be picked up when he tries to order ice cream and keeps asking for flavors that aren't available despite looking right at the list. When Corky finally tells this to their father, his father doesn't believe it, claiming he sees the guy reading magazines all the time, the ones with naked women... oh.
  • Nice Guy: Agents Cox and Darnell. Lampshaded by Corky at one point who even refers to them as "sweet guys" when suggesting that they take one of the assignments FBI assistant director Schuester hands him. Corky himself is a very nice guy too.
  • Opposites Attract: Corky, an extremely quirky but nice man who's often smiling ends up married to Kate Russo, a very staid, serious FBI agent who initially doesn't express much emotion (he grows on her).
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Corky uses a number of these to sneak back into his family's house, which is being surveilled by the FBI.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The tiny bouncer guarding one of the Romano's illicit gambling dens delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Corky before realizing he's a member of the family.
  • Pretentious Pronunciation: The title character's FBI alias changes his surname to "Pissant" after a bumbling hacker misinterprets an insult as the answer to his question of what the name should be. It then becomes a running gag as Corky tries to convince people that it's pronounced "Pis-AHNT... it's y'know... French."
  • Released to Elsewhere: While Corky, a veterinary assistant, is on leave posing as an FBI agent to help his Family, a wiseguy fills in for him at the vet clinic. A boy comes in with a stone-dead white mouse and says, "Mister, something's wrong with Sniffles!" The wiseguy takes the dead mouse into the back, throws it in a wastebasket, picks a live white mouse out of a cage full of them, goes back to the waiting room and says, "Here you are, kid, he's fine, he just needed a new liver."
  • The Starscream: It turns out Pop's right-hand man Leo turned informant so he could take over the business after he's taken out by the FBI.
  • Transparent Closet: "Gay-in-denial Mob tough guy" is pretty much the whole character of Corky's brother Peter. Even the FBI knows — "latent homosexual" is the core of their profile on him.
  • The Unfavorite: Corky, Paulie, and Peter all think of themselves as this.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Corky's motivation behind is that he's always wanted to be part of the family. His father tells him Corky has always been part of the family, he's his son.
  • White Sheep: One of the reasons Pops cast Corky out was he loved him and thought he was better than the family business.
  • Workout Fanservice: As she's practicing martial arts, Russo is wearing spandex workout clothes that show off her figure, and obviously distract Corky.