Death to Smoochy

Me reviewing Death to Smoochy came about by accident. It’s a movie that isn’t easily available on any streaming service unless you want to rent or buy it. I think it’s a movie that hasn’t been given a rerelease since the original release back in 2002. I hadn’t seen it in almost two decades and it was just as funny as I remembered it being. I think I found it even funnier than I did back then because of what I’ve learned about children’s entertainment in the years since my original viewings.

Death to Smooch was directed by Danny DeVito and written by Adam Resnick. I didn’t realize that this was DeVito’s first movie since directing Matilda in 96. Resnick’s script was an amazingly dark satire that came out at an inopportune time. Death to Smoochy came out in early 02 which was about six months after 9/11 and I don’t think most people were ready for a movie this dark even with the amazing performances that are in this movie.

Robin Williams, Edward Norton, Catherin Keener, Danny DeVito, Jon Stewart, Harvey Fierstein, Danny Woodburn, Vincent Schiavelli, and Michael Rispoli star. Both Williams and Norton make the movie with their amazing performances. Williams was still playing against the more family friendly image he had cultivated during the 90s, which worked well with his character. I think this was the first movie I had seen Norton in and I think it might be one of my favorite performances of his. Both DeVito and Fierstein have great sinister performances, with Fierstein’s performance blowing me away all over again with this recent viewing. Stewart is fun as the one bumbling fool in the sea of antagonists.

The set, production, and costume designers in Death to Smoochy did an amazing job. The multiple sets for the children’s shows in the movie look amazing and they’re even complete with their own costumes. The same goes for the show that’s on ice during the climax of the movie. The music by David Newman is amazing. The different songs from the shows in the movie have reprises that are fun and add a whimsical quality to the score.

Death to Smoochy is a dark satirical comedy that is way funnier and smarted than people gave it credit for when it came out originally. I hope that it gets a rerelease in the coming years because it deserves one. Death to Smoochy is way too smart of a movie to be relegated to VHS and DVD. I happened to find it on YouTube to watch for free with ads, which is what brought this all about. I give Death to Smoochy 9 dick cookies out of 10. [kofi]


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