THE FRESHMAN meets early Woody Allen in this canny send-up of both gangsters and therapy in the movies. As Paul Vitti, head of a powerful mob family, Robert De Niro capitalizes on years of playing mob heavies to hugely entertaining effect. Vitti narrowly
escapes a rubout, only to find himself tormented by disabling anxiety attacks. Neurotic therapist Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) -- who has an uneasy relationship with his famous father (Bill Macy), a media-hungry psychiatrist -- prefers ordinary patients but finds his world turned upside-down after he
rear-ends Vitti's bodyguard, Jelly (Joseph Viterelli): The concerned Jelly recruits the only head doctor he's ever met ...