Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Death to Smoochy

MPAA Rating: R for language and sexual references

Reviewed by: Reed Benson

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

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1 hr. 43 min.
Year of Release:
Robin Williams in “Death to Smoochy”

Starring: Robin Williams, Edward Norton, Catherine Keener, Danny DeVito, Jon Stewart | Directed by: Danny DeVito | Produced by: Andrew Lazar, Peter Macgregor-Scott | Written by: Adam Resnick | Distributor: Warner Brothers

“Death to Smoochy” deals with kiddy show host Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams) who gets busted by the FBI over a bribery scandal. Kidnet, the company that produced the Rainbow Randolph show and the channel that played it, needs a new show to fill Randolph’s spot. Nora (Catherine Keener), a top Kidnet executive, finds Sheldon (Edward Norton), aka “Smoochy the Rhino,” on her last ditch effort for a replacement. Smoochy takes Randolph’s spot and his show skyrockets to number one. This drives Rainbow Randolph insane, and he makes many attempts to publicly defame Smoochy. Other characters that show up are the corrupt Parade of Hope leader (Harvey Fierstein), his main assistant (Danny DeVito), and Spinnart, a former boxing champion who’s not so bright but still lovable.

My motto is, “If you wouldn’t watch it with Jesus, why watch it?” Well, I know we’re only human, but I certainly wouldn’t want to watch this with Jesus. I do believe that this movie could have obtained a PG-13 rating, had it not been for the very heavy use of profanity. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Also, there is a lot of sexual humor and violence. One rather short scene features sexual intercourse, but taking place behind a screen, with several cutaways, only showing shadowy figures.

The bottom line? Best to avoid “Death to Smoochy”. It certainly won’t help those who wish to grow in their walk with Christ. While Williams and DeVito do their best to make this sound like a promising flick, it’s still a far cry from “Matilda” or “Hook”.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—I found this movie to be very entertaining. However, I would not recommend it for anyone under 17, the R rating is well earned. I would also say if your not a BIG fan of one of the actors, you most likely will not enjoy this film. I saw it only because Robin was in it and that is most of the reason I liked it.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 4½]
—Adam, age 18
Negative—Terrible movie. Very offensive. I would not recommend this movie to anyone. There were strong sexual messages, foul language and on top of that very boring. I walked out about 45 minutes into the movie…
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
—JR, age 28
Negative—I did not like this movie. Danny DeVito has directed better films (Matilda, The War of the Roses) but this was a disappointment. Robin Williams can do much better also. All he did throughout the whole film was spew the f-word, and scream offensive sexual terms around small children. Plus, this film was just tooo long. It ran for two hours. Comedies should not last that long. It was too drawn out, and it got boring after a while. Danny DeVito himself said “A good comedy lasts around an hour to thirty minutes long. If it runs over that time period, you’re going to be squirming in your seats.” He should have taken his own advice!

I really didn’t like this film. I knew it was rated R, but I had no idea how disturbing it would be. I liked “The War of the Roses.” It was also a dark comedy, but it had substance, and it kept you interested, and I laughed my head off during that one. I wish I could say the same about this one, but I can’t. Keep one thing in mind: DO NOT TAKE KIDS TO THIS MOVIE.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1½]
—Adam, age 19
Comments from young people
Negative—I like Robin Williams. He’s one of the best comedians (and people) of all time. I was extremely sad when I heard about his suicide. He brought so much joy to the whole world. So I wanted to see “Death to Smoochy.” And man, was it dissapointing. Not only is is crude, but also not at all humorous. The character of Robin Williams tries to kill himself in the movie. A movie just trying to make you laugh just ends of making you sad instead. Almost any other Robin Williams movie is better then this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Ty, age 15 (USA)
Movie Critics
…35 F-words… 12 scatological terms, 10 sexual references, 49 anatomical terms, 26 mild obscenities,” 8 religious profanities or exclamations
…an uneven production at its best… a number of clever moments or elements [but] sporadic and simply don’t add up to a fulfilling experience…
—Michael Elliott, Movie Parables