Flamboyant mobster Vinnie (Steve Martin) is relocated by the Witness Protection Program from New York City to suburban California until it is time for him to testify against his former associates. But he quickly bores of life in middle-class America and starts up his own little racket. These shenanigans cause Vinnie to run afoul of the local authorities, which makes life difficult for the straitlaced FBI agent (Rick Moranis) assigned to protect him. Soon the agent is struggling to keep Vinnie out of the clutches of a tough-as-nails assistant D.A. (Joan Cusack) who wants to see him behind bars.
This witty comedy stars Steve Martin as Vinnie, a smooth-talking mobster who is relocated from New York City to a suburb of San Diego by the Federal Witness Protection Program in exchange for testifying against the mob. Vinnie must start life over in a quaint town--with a new name, bad Italian food, and too much clean air. Before long his mafioso wife has packed her bags and Vinnie is left to make do, with nothing to keep himself entertained--until he runs across some old friends from the Big Apple and they start up a little business of their own. Vinnie's bad behavior wreaks havoc on the life of Barney Coopersmith (Rick Moranis), the straitlaced FBI agent assigned to protect him. Barney must struggle with Hannah, the local assistant D.A. (Joan Cusack), to keep Vinnie out of prison and safe from the mob before his testimony. Before long, Vinnie is sweet-talking Hannah into dates with Barney and teaching Barney how to dance, dress, and become a lady killer as they run from Mafia hit men and narily escape murder in Manhattan. MY BLUE HEAVEN is a fun comedy, particularly worth watching for the interplay between Martin and Moranis.
Shot on location in Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, and San Diego, California, and in New York City, New York. Filming began November 6, 1989; completed February 3, 1990.
Released in North America August 17, 1990. Released on video December 27, 1990.
Screenwriter Nora Ephron is married to journalist Nick Pileggi. Pileggi wrote the book WISEGUY and co-wrote the screenplay for its film adaptation, GOODFELLAS, which inspired Ephron to write MY BLUE HEAVEN. Ephron's film features a protagonist who, like Henry Hill in WISEGUY is placed in the Witness Protection Program after he rats on his former associates, goes to live in a middle-class suburb, is left by his estranged wife, returns to crime, and is repeatedly bailed out by the government. He also continuously complains about his boredom and the lack of good Italian food.
In 1993, Ephron directed her first film, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE.
Comedian and clown Bill Irwin co-stars as FBI Agent Kirby. Famous for his physical comedy, his dancing and physical manipulations are featured in the film's dance scenes.
"You folks are probably Yankees fans; it's been my experience that most organized crime members are."--Barney to Vinnie and wife