Bad Boys for Life
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I love this movie. Yes, it is a terrible movie, but I love it.
This film is highly underrated! It's a little sick and sinister and laden with many dark undertones. Norton and Williams are brilliant! Usually the former plays more seething and dark roles, whereas the latter plays the affable, happy characters. They've exchanged formulas for this movie! The whole thing is quite superb and such a romp. Keener, DeVito and Stewart, so great. Somehow, as a pink, starry-eyed, gullible rhino, Norton is still as appealing as ever!
What the hell was everyone smoking when they created this very peculiar and bizarrely unfunny comedy? The first half-hour is actually pretty enjoyable - if unfunny - mainly because director De Vito keeps the ridiculous premise (don't ask) moving and he's blessed with a very good cast. Edward Norton is a strange choice to play the vegan kiddy TV show host, but Robin Williams and Catherine Keener give it both barrels. The film completely loses its way at the half-way point, becoming more and more manic as the plotting becomes impenetrable. Very odd.
You walk into Death to Smoochy and say to yourself: with this all star cast where could it go wrong? It does go wrong. But it's so stupid and weird that I couldn't help but find myself laughing.
I loved this film. The juxtaposition of the bright colors and fantasy of childhood with the dark undertones of shady business and darker humor is something unique and satisfying in a way I've never seen attempted before. The performances are stellar and at once invite you into the inside joke of how over the top the film is while at the same time touching on emotional realities rarely expressed in cinema because the realities themselves are over the top and nonsensical.
For instance Robin's suicidal attempts which are really a cry for help and his utter melt down during the "hostage" scene near the end where he really just wants to be taken care of. His manipulative tendencies which are able to spin on a dime as soon as it benefits him to do so and his lack of impulse control show a sort of personality rarely seen on the big screen but almost everyone knows someone like that in real life.
Then you have to opposite extreme in Norton's character. So repressed. He appears for all intents and purposes to be just a goofy dope who is too innocent and naive for the business but under that is a rage so fearsome he himself is afraid of it and buries it deep.
This film has a duality of nature in itself and it's characters that I believe few take the time to really appreciate.
Which is, in fact, so marvelous that a story about people who are showing you one thing but are in fact something else is overlooked by critics who seem to only see the facade the film goes out of its way to invite you to look past.
Either way the film is entertaining and satisfying. Giving the audience a concrete ending and a happy one at that. Which is something many lauded films struggle with or just don't even bother trying to give the audience in modern filmmaking. Perhaps mistaking laziness and lack of direction for art or subverting expectations makes critics happy but audiences will always prefer a sound ending and it is audiences who finance media.
When this was recommended to me I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of it. How on earth is the critic score so low for this? Humour as black as a goth's underwear must put them off, but this is funny, clever, the cynicism is razor sharp and every member of the cast delivers a brilliant performance. For those who liked Dogma and Drop Dead Fred this is one for you.
everytime I watch this movie i like it more.
Loved this movie!!! Watch it over and over again ??
Death to Smoochy is a dark comedy that works much better than I ever expected. It’s the story of the dark and disturbing things that go on behind the scenes even in kids’ television, and how hard it is for one man to remain pure amidst all that corruption. The cast fully embraces the zaniness of this plot, playing it entirely straight even when things are insane. It’s surprising how well Edward Norton can pull off the innocent man performance, because he’s excellent at playing a tougher character or even a villain in other films, so watching him being the pure spirit is interesting. Robin Williams has his usual excess of energy, but it is put to great use as a disgruntled former star of a kids’ program. These two don’t have a ton of scenes on screen together, but their interactions are priceless. There are a few aspects of Death to Smoochy that feel unearned, most notably the abrupt turn of Catherine Keener. However, I was more forgiving of those moments because the entire film seems to be in a somewhat heightened reality, so it’s easy to ignore when things don’t quite make sense. I could see this kind of humor falling flat for some people, but I was thoroughly entertained, and would probably recommend Death to Smoochy to others who can appreciate a darker comedic tone.
This movie is just too real for some people it seems. It is hillarious and one of the only times you see how raunchy Robin Williams can be outside of his stand-up comedy. "I'm Rainbow-fucking-Randolph!" It's definitely not for everyone but worth a watch in my opinion.