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At Theaters: 3/29/2002 On Video: 9/17/2002
Rated: R Length: 1 hr. 41 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 399914
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.
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Notes: 
Storyline Heading
Rainbow Randolph, the corrupt, costumed star of a popular children's TV show is fired over a bribery scandal and replaced by squeaky-clean Smoochy, a puffy fuscia rhinoceros. As Smoochy catapults to fame, scoring hit ratings and the affections of a jaded network executive, Randolph makes the unsuspecting rhino the target of his numerous outrageous.
DETAILED STORYLINE
.
Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Comedy (Dark) - This is a very dark comedy that will largely appeal to younger adults able to groove with its warped sensibility. Despite the setting of children's television, this is most definitely not a film for children. Older adults and more sensitive and squeamish viewers may not find much to laugh about here.

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Cast and Crew Heading
Robin Williams BICENTENNIAL MAN, JAKOB THE LIAR, PATCH ADAMS
Edward Norton THE SCORE, KEEPING THE FAITH, FIGHT CLUB
Danny DeVito HEIST, WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Jon Stewart BIG DADDY
Catherine Keener BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS
Harvey Fierstein TORCH SONG TRILOGY, MRS. DOUBTFIRE
Director: Danny DeVito THE RATINGS GAME, MATILDA
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Production Notes Heading
Behind The Music And Madness
Design Work For Smoochy
About The Locations
Working With Danny DeVito
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Frequent use of strong profanity.
SEX/NUDITY: Some mild fooling around and lots of sex talk.
VIOLENCE: Shootings, beatings.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Alcohol and tobacco use.
ACTION: One big chase.
COMEDY: Pitch black humor.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Below Average

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

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Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Poor "...a comedy of backstabbing overkill set in the Barneyesque world of children's television, director Danny DeVito acts as if he's staging the most outrageous sick satire in history.  Death to Smoochy tells a moldy-oldie, not-nearly-as-nasty-as-it-thinks-it-is joke. Over and over again.''

James Berardinelli, Internet Critic  Full Review
Above Average "...the film is sporadically funny, and, yes, it satirizes the genre, but I left the movie feeling like I had seen a missed opportunity.  It has its moments, but they don't add up to a complete movie. In general, parodies may not rely overmuch on plot, but they need more in this department than Death to Smoochy possesses.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Very Poor "The movie ends by crossing an ice show with elements of "The Manchurian Candidate." It involves an odd sexual predilection: Keener has a fetish for kiddie show hosts. It has a lesbian hit-squad leader with a thick Irish brogue. It uses four-letter language as if being paid by the word. In all the annals of the movies, few films have been this odd, inexplicable and unpleasant.''

USA TODAY  Full Review
Average "Smoochy, like the cuddly character, tries to be loved and ends on an unrealistically upbeat note. But it's in better, wittier form just being vicious and biting.  While Robin Williams plays his character like a depraved Willy Wonka, his mugging grows cloying and annoying. His one-liners are funnier than the overall execution of the movie''

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 56 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M)
6
Fairly High
100%
13-19Teens (F)
7
Fairly High
86%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
6
Fairly High
83%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
9
About 50/50
67%
30+Adults (M)
13
Fairly Low
92%
30+Adults (F)
15
Fairly Low
73%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

We were only able to collect 41 moviegoer opinions from several showings. These are very mixed opinions, which is quite common on these dark comedies. With most of the opinions in the "Good/Avg." to "Very Good" range, I would say chances are pretty good that you will, at the very least, find this movie somewhat enjoyable, but it's a long shot that you will think it's great.

I highly recommend that you read the detailed content and detailed moviegoer opinions before seeing this movie.


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
Children's television…it's a tough racket. 

Randolph Smiley (ROBIN WILLIAMS) has it all – as the costumed star of the highest rated kid's show on TV, "Rainbow Randolph” has a Manhattan penthouse, a Times Square billboard featuring his beloved character, cars, boats, horses and all the indulgence that celebrity brings.

There's something else Randolph has – a healthy taste for Johnnie Walker and a penchant for taking bribes from stage parents who want their kids on his program. These under-the-table transactions are quite lucrative for the debt-ridden children's icon…until the Feds get wise.

Busted and instantly reviled, Randolph is a star no more. He's become the one thing a children's performer fears most: a scandal. Scandals don't play well to the under-8 demographic, and weasely network president Frank Stokes (JON STEWART) needs a squeaky clean replacement – fast. 

Enter Sheldon Mopes (EDWARD NORTON) and his alter-ego "Smoochy,” a puffy, fuscia rhinoceros. Eager to expand his audience beyond the Coney Island methadone clinic, Smoochy – with his innocence and unrelenting ethics – is the perfect remedy for what ails the network…and it doesn't hurt that kids love him. Now it's Smoochy who's got the swanky penthouse, the Times Square billboard and the smooth-talking agent (DANNY DEVITO). He's even captured the attention of Randolph's ex-girlfriend Nora (CATHERINE KEENER), the network's senior programming executive.

Sheldon soon learns, however, that children's television is a dangerous world steeped in corruption, back-stabbing and violence. But his biggest problem isn't ratings or corporate politics. It's Rainbow Randolph. 

Broke and homeless, Randolph doesn't share America's enthusiasm for his opportunistic replacement. The way Randolph sees it, the righteous rhino has stolen his job, his house and his girl. He's convinced that the foam rubber carpetbagger is the face of evil sent by the devil to destroy him. 

Revenge is the means, assassination is the end and Rainbow Randolph will not sleep until Smoochy takes a permanent dirt nap.
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