Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Kids' TV industry skewered in dark comedy

Death to Smoochy (2002)
Starring: Edward Norton and Robin Williams
Director: Danny Devito
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

After kid's show superstar Rainbow Randolph (Williams) is disgraced in a bribery scandal, an idealistic young performer, Sheldon Mopes (Norton) and his trademark character of Smoochy the Purple Dinosaur are tapped by the network to fill Randolph's timeslot. An instant hit, Sheldon is soon faced with the choice of abandonining his dreams of entertaining and educating kids in a wholesome fashion for crass commercialism, or standing by his principles and taking on the kid's entertainment industry... a shadow-filled world that makes a Mafia Made Man summit look like a Boy Scout jamboree. And will he survive the insane attempts at revenge launched at him by an increasingly deranged Randolph?

"Death to Smoochy" is a dark comedy with some truly hilarious moments, with a cast of characters that grow ever more bizarre as the film progresses and we learn more about them. Williams in particular shines as the thoroughly corrupt and repulsive Rainbow Randolph, and Norton is also great as the idealistic-but-never-foolish Sheldon. The supporting cast (led by Danny Devito, Jon Stewart, and Harvey Fierstein) are all excellent in their parts.

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