Death to Smoochy
- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2002 1 Jan
Hoping for better options? Perhaps you are looking forward to the Robin Williams comedy opening next weekend? If so, you might want to think again. Parents especially should take note that
Kirk Honeycutt (Hollywood Reporter) writes that it "is a loud, ugly, irritating movie without any of its satirical salvos hitting a discernible target. A stellar cast consisting of Robin Williams, Edward Norton … and [Danny] DeVito … is over-the-top in shrill performances that are embarrassing. Williams [delivers] the most grating performance of his career. Given the array of talent involved … you have to write this one off to the fact that anyone can have a bad day. But what are the odds that everyone has that bad day on the same day?"
Similarly, Alex Nohe (FilmThreat) declares, "The premise is a comedy cliché. A dirty clown? Robin Williams' performance is one-note and is delivered as if the film was a cartoon. Edward Norton's performance as Smoochy is also uninteresting and uninspiring. Outside of watching [Anastas] Michos' career-making performance as a cinematographer, the only other reason to see this would be to witness the difference between 'funny' and 'trying to be funny.'"
I'll have reactions from the religious press next week.from Film Forum, 04/04/02
In last week's Film Forum, critics warned readers that the new Robin Williams comedy
A critic at the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops says
Michael Elliott calls it "an uneven production at its best. Robin Williams' shtick is looking more and more forced while being less and less funny. Because we never really accept him as a kiddie show personality, we are never drawn into one of the major conflicts of the story."
Dan Buck (Relevant Magazine) writes, "Sometimes the actors/directors are so interested in working with each other, they don't really pay much attention to what it is they choose to work on. Unfortunately … ample talent does not a great movie make."
Mainstream critics find the movie dead on arrival. Stephanie Zacharek (Salon.com) writes, "There's lots of manufactured outlandishness … and yet the movie is simply no fun. As a satire of hype and consumer culture, it fails in the worst way."
"There's no one to root for in this ponderously 'scathing' thriller-farce," complains Owen Glieberman (Entertainment Weekly). "
"It uses four-letter language as if being paid by the word," says Roger Ebert (
Michael Wilmington (
By the way,