Saturday, February 9, 2008

One Size Doesn't Fit All

Death to Smoochy is as bad as you've heard. In fact, it's infinitely worse. I only saw about 15 minutes of the movie total, but that was all I could take. 10 seconds is enough to get the gist. It was like an assault on all my senses. I had to stop watching before I gouged my eyeballs, tore out my hair, and severed my ears à la van Gogh. Even then, I can't erase the inane melodies and garish visuals from my memory.

Danny DeVito directed this pathetic mess, this steaming pile of cinematic excrement, and Robin Williams and Edward Norton star in it, as Rainbow Randolph and Smoochy the Rhino respectively. Ugh. It's just vile on all levels. I think they were aiming for subversive, but they only attained stupid. Williams and Norton play wildly popular stars of children's television (in what universe, I'm not sure). These characters are so unlikeable and creepy that I think real parents would have them locked up or put on some neighborhood watch list. The only person I feel sorry for is Catherine Keener, who still tries her best and shines like she always does.

DeVito, Williams, and Norton should be ashamed. Williams and Norton don't try AT ALL. Robin Williams' career has been plummeting steadily since Good Will Hunting, and this might be the worst of the worst. I can't believe Edward Norton is in this movie. He's one of this generation's finest actors, and it's just sad to see him trapped in that miserable rhino suit. But he could have tried to make it better, you know, by ACTING, and he didn't. It's just awful.

I'll leave you with these words from the opening number, sung by Robin Williams and his midgets (the film's word, not mine). This is Rainbow Randolph's theme song. As you read the words, try to imagine Robin Williams singing in the most off-key way possible (he sounds like a moose), gyrating awkwardly to the hideous choreography, mugging painfully, and all slapped together with the worst dubbing I've possibly ever seen in a movie to the most unmelodic music ever. This particular opening fiasco is so bad that I was compelled to watch it multiple times, and then I was punished by having the song in my head for days.

"Friends come in all sizes
That's a fact! It's true!
All colors of the rainbow
from mauve to blue...
Their names may not be different
and their shoes may not match
One might say 'grasp' while the
other says 'snatch'
Some like to toss while others
like to caaaaaatch...
Friends come in all sizes
Take it from me! Golly gee! Size
never matters when you want some
friendly patter
From a pal who is true and can
lift you when you're blue
You can count on him and he can
count on yooooooouuuuu!
It'ssssss truuuuuue... It'sssssss truuuuuuuuuue....that...
(big finish)
Friends come in all sizes!"

That last line is repeated about a dozen times in a dozen different inflections by Williams, each more creepy and annoying than the last. I typed that out word for word from the script. Actually, I embellished the last two "It's true"s because I wanted to convey how agonizingly drawn out they are. Apparently, as if writing this script wasn't offensive enough, grammar isn't very important to screenwriter Adam Resnick either. Bad grammar is such a peeve of mine. Ever heard of a comma? Sheesh. And yes, it actually says "big finish." Well, that's a fact, it's true - Death to Smoochy IS finished, big-time.

Rating: 1/2* (out of 5) - Only because of Catherine Keener and its few amusingly awful moments.

No comments: