Variety - 03/25/2002
"...Williams throws himself into Randolph's mean-spirited mania with gusto and gets off some fine riffs....Keener is spot-on...and DeVito has his brash agent act down pat..."
Total Film - 02/01/2004
"[I]t definitely has moments of genius..."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/2004
"DeVito's black comedy is ripe for discovery..."
Robin Williams goes berserk as Rainbow Randolph, the disgraced host of a children's television show, in director Danny DeVito's fast-paced satire, DEATH TO SMOOCHY. Busted by the Feds for accepting a bribe to get a child on his show, Randolph gets booted from his network, Kidnet, and is replaced by the earnest do-gooder Sheldon Mopes (Edward Norton), who plays Smoochy, a loveable pink rhino with a strong resemblance to Barney. Sheldon sums up his own personality with a classic line, "When my brothers and I played cowboys and Indians, I was always the Chinese railroad worker." As Sheldon becomes a superstar, Randolph plots his revenge. Sheldon's refusal to push cheap toys and sugary drinks angers the Kidnet execs, especially tough-as-nails Nora (Catherine Keener). Sheldon also runs up against the Irish mob and his agent (DeVito) gets him into trouble with a corrupt charity. Meanwhile, Nora finds herself falling for the principled performer.
Robin Williams is amazing, completely shedding his "nice guy" persona and making the shockingly foulmouthed kiddie show host simultaneously hilarious and frightening. Norton does a great job of winning the audience over to his buffoonish but truly good hearted character. He and Keener lend heart to the scathingly funny script by Adam Resnick.
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