An uptight FBI agent must protect a larger than life mobster with a heart of gold, currently under witness protection in the suburbs.
It is not difficult to imagine the lather of excitement in Hollywood when the various parts of My Blue Heaven started to fall into place. Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally) would take care of the script. Herbert Ross (Steel Magnolias) was in to direct. Rick Moranis (whose last monster, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, had earned Disney well over $200 million) is one of the co-stars. And - get this - Steve Martin, probably the world's number one comic actor (Parenthood etc, etc.), is to be the film's major selling point. With that kind of pedigree, My Blue Heaven, frankly, has winner written all over it.
Almost unbelievably, however, this film displays absolutely none of the charm of any of the main players' more recent efforts. The limply scripted one-joke tale of a New York mobster turned Federal witness (Martin) who is transferred to the tiny community of Fryburg under the protection of a nerdy FBI man (Moranis), and who is first reviled then lauded by the community and its fussy Assistant D.A. (Cusack), it fails on most of the levels available to it, dramatic, comedic or cinematic.
Thanks to a sloppy storyline, dreadful (and old, and repeated) jokes and the fact that its one potential lifesaver - Steve Martin - is wasted by being strait-jacketed in a role which allows him none of the freedom he needs to really get into his stride, My Blue Heaven promises a huge amount of fun but sadly provides nothing of the kind.
It's plus points are few and far between - fantastic music, well worth buying the soundtrack for, and the occasional Moranis and Martin magic we would expect throughout - but such rare glimpses merely underline the sheer sogginess of the rest of the movie.