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Death To Smoochy
Death To Smoochy (Soundtrack)

Death To Smoochy Review

Directed By: Danny Devito.
Starring: Robin Williams, Edward Norton, Catherine Keener, Danny Devito, Jon Stewart.

Synopsis: The comic tale of Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams), the costumed star of a popular children's television show who is fired over a bribery scandal and replaced by Smoochy (Edward Norton), a puffy, Barney-esque fuscia rhinoceros. When Randolph discovers Smoochy is having an affair with his ex-lover, Nora (Catherine Keener), a top programming executive at the network, he plots his revenge.

Death To Smoochy is a dark, well-written, well-acted, and nicely shot flick that has come under fire for all sorts of stupid reasons from not being for kids to apparently ripping off a children's show called Ricky The Rhino in Toronto. People are so busy about being offended or being ripped off they hadn't even bothered watching the film they are accusing. I hate that kind of hypocritical attitude...okay...tirade over.

The only remote possibility of a rip-off here in Smoochy is that Smoochy is a Rhino...nothing, nothing else. Okay...really now...seriously...end of tirade.

Now, it's obviously adult film fare, especially with Robin Williams spouting off more obscenities than we have seen in a long time. Williams made a promise awhile ago to return to more edgier fare, less easy, sappy work that he was reporting for. Here in Smoochy and in the upcoming Insomnia he seems to be sticking to that promise, and in fulfilling it, turning out some great work at the same time. It's a win-win.

Having Danny DeVito helming the picture recalls his stylish and hellish War of the Roses, another dark comedy not meant for everyone's tastes.

As Rainbow Randolph (Williams) is replaced by Smoochy (Norton) after Randolph is found taking money for putting children on his show Smoochy starts making a television show that is only good, pure and educational. While one character is so venomously evil and the other so sickeningly sweet one wonders what should be interesting here. Enter charities run as if they are the mob, enter the Irish Mob, enter Nazi's and a ex-boxer punched a few too many times (played sooo well by Michael Rispoli) and Ice Capades...

It becomes convoluted, but in a way that I have always liked, with layers of characters where the evil people are untrustworthy, and in the corner of goodness, with Ed Norton leading, you are not quite sure whether or not Smoochy may snap under all the pressure and how far can goodness be pushed?

Throw in Catherine Keener as one hard as nails producer who has a fetish for children's's that for an undocumented fetish, and you have a nasty little film that pretty much seems to have offended every movie critic out there. She seems to be a pretty one-note character as the first act of the movie unfolds but really develops as the film goes on.

In the end, what with all the Smoochy bashing going on, all I know is, you dress Ed Norton in a fuchsia Rhino costume and have him singing songs like 'My Stepdad's Not Bad, He's Just Adjusting' (with kids doing a sing along) and I almost have tears in my eyes. However, if you like your comedy light and Meg Ryan-ish...avoid Death To Smoochy. I mean that, it's not a light warning...avoid it...however, if you have visions of Tele-tubbies being gored by Barney...then line up for this flick and laugh with your nasty black heart!

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

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Evil Ash

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