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About The Production
Critics and audiences around the world embraced the 1999 comedy Analyze This, making the story of the pathologically insecure mafia don and his anxiety-prone suburban psychiatrist an international box office success.

"You could say we were in a state of shock," says producer Paula Weinstein. "We couldn't believe how much goodwill the film generated. Everyone who saw it seemed to take the characters to heart. I think all of us, including Harold, Billy and Bob felt something magical had happened, in both the creation of the film and in its release."

"Also, it was the first full-scale success for both of our companies, Paula's and mine, and that in itself was exciting," notes producer Jane Rosenthal, referring to Baltimore Spring Creek Pictures, in which Weinstein is a founding partner, and Tribeca, the production company Rosenthal heads with partner Robert De Niro.

Even so, neither of the producers was initially eager to launch a sequel. "We didn't want to do another film just for the sake of it doing it," Weinstein explains, "especially if it meant just going through the motions or repeating ourselves."

But the extraordinary nature of the first film's warm reception with people everywhere left Weinstein and Rosenthal with the sense that the strangely dependent, oddly affectionate relationship between Paul Vitti and Ben Sobel had another chapter to unfold. It seemed that everyone adored these two characters -- including the actors who played them.

"People would stop me on the street and quote lines from the movie," Billy Crystal says, slipping for a moment into the Analyze This dialogue. "‘You….you're good. You've got a gift,' they'd say, imitating Bob. It really tickled me."

"I think audiences just loved seeing Robert De Niro taking his scary screen persona and having fun with it," offers Rosenthal. "And they loved seeing how other people, specifically Billy's character, react to it." Or, to borrow Crystal's point of view, "People just love to see De Niro abusing me."

There was a palpable sense that audiences everywhere were waiting for more.

The producers discussed the idea of doing a sequel with each other and the Studio, then raised the possibility with the stars of Analyze This and its director, Harold Ramis. Everyone was enthusiastic about revisiting the material, especially if the former creative team was involved.

"We wanted to come back because there was a good story to tell," says Crystal. "There was an unfinished relationship between Ben Sobel and Paul Vitti from the first film."

"The main thing for each of us, and especially for Harold, Billy and Bob, was that if there was going to be a new film, it would have to take these characters to a new place," adds Rosenthal. "They had to grow and change, and at the same time they had to satisfy the expectation of the audience." This, De Niro knew from working on Analyze This, would naturally involve some creative brainstorming, which was part of the project's appeal.

"I was very enthusiastic about getting started, once everyone had committed to doing a sequel," De Niro recalls. "Let's get on with it and we'll work out the specifics as we get deeper into the story because things will change all the time, even while we're shooting."

In Analyze This, we learned about some of Vitti's anxieties but only scratched the surface. Now he's experiencing real stress and the secrets he has buried (in his psyche, that is) are beginning to emerge.

Telling that story properly was essential to Ramis. "I think there's nothing worse than doing a sequel just to exploit a franchise," he says. "So I held out until we had an idea and a storyline th

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