A kids show host, Rainbow Randolph, is fired in disgrace while his replacement, Sheldon Mopes, aka Smoochy the Rhino, finds himself a rising star. Unfortunately for Sheldon, the business of kids television isn't all child's play.
Fired in disgrace, kids show host Randolph Smiley finds himself out on the street, while his replacement Sheldon Mopes, finds himself on the fast track to success with a new hit show as the proud purple rhino Smoochy. But things take a turn for the worst when Sheldon finds out that some of the people that he works with, and some he doesn't know he's working for, are all in it for the money. Meanwhile, Randolph is slowly turning insane with his only thoughts focusing on killing Smoochy and getting back to his life of luxury. Written by
A great comedy flawed only by too-dramatic character arcs.
I would be wrong if I said that Danny DeVito's films were made with full intent to capture the realisms of life, and it is because of his ability to portray an eccentric world (or relationship) that he is able to made the most original and entertaining characters known to film.
For example, although he didn't create the character Matilda, he was able to portray the girl with telekinetic ability in a very effective manner in the film of the same name. And also the characters in 'War of the Roses' were thoroughly over-the-top, but it was because of this that the films directed by the short man were so entertaining.
'Death to Smoochy' was no exception. It is because of the over-the-top characters that it is so funny. Edward Norton's character in particular is hilarious just because of the OTT reactions the 'atrocities' of the world draw out of him, and the overly-nice attitude he oozes.
There are other things that create humour. The lines are hilariously witty and even the facial expressions created by some of the characters give the film replay value. So IS there anything wrong with it?
I, personally, don't believe the dated storyline creates an obstruction, but I do feel that there is a problem with the dramatic character arcs. The biggest example of this is Robin Williams' character who goes, in one scene, from being ridiculously hateful, to wanting nothing more than to save his ex-arch-rival. This is where the over-the-top obstructs believability, although it doesn't do enough to make me dislike the film even partially.
The film, although flawed only by the very dramatic character arcs, is thoroughly enjoyable, and DeVito sprinkles just enough dramatic camera angles to support the extremity of the storyline. It is a rare gem, battered at the box office, but very safe in my collection of favourite DVDs.
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