101. Death to Smoochy
Seen it before and still love it. Forgot the Danny DeVito directed this excellent Dark comedy when I saw it yesterday. The movie works right off the bat because of the premise: the dark world of children’s television programming. By now the “Ultimate Showdown” where Mr. Roger’s wins is well-known. That and we know how screwed up or “normal” some of the guys behind the costumes are. Of course Death to Smoochy takes things to the extreme, but that’s how you get comedy.
The movie is definitely a dark comedy. There’s violence and drugs and language, but nothing really obscene. Really the language is the most blatant aspect to this film and it’s done tastefully. DeVito controls the movie very well. The film works as a dark comedy because he knows where that fine line is, where if you cross it you’ve gone a bit to far.
The cast though is what drew me in. Robin Williams was the first stand-up that I listened to. George Carlin might’ve been first. Either way he’s always been a figure I’ve sought out because he is extremely talented. I mean he did in fact go to Julliard which is a name that means something to a lot of people. I can’t imagine he got in and was crap. This is Williams as some people are used to seeing him. Loud, vulgar, manic, over the top. It’s great. He’s extremely animated and it’s one of Williams great assets. Edward Norton however is the exact opposite. He plays the naïve small town vibe kinda guy pretty damn well. Of course when he’s walking around in a wife beater it’s hard to see that. He’s not as ripped as he was in American History X, but he’s still toned and it kinda actually comes in handy for later character development. The rest of the cast is a bunch of familiar faces, including DeVito, and they all do a wonderful job. Harvey Fierstein is in this movie and for those of you who don’t know him he was Williams gay brother in Mrs. Doubtfire. The make up dude. That’s where I’m most familiar with him from and I desperately wanted Fierstein and Williams to start singing together like they did in Doubtfire. Amazing movie and moment.
Great dark comedy and just plain old comedy. Defiantly needs to be watched. Two other great dark comedies to watch would be In Bruges and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The Guy Ritchie British gangster films may fall into that category as well.