Death to Smoochy Review
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I have a confession to make. I have a dark side. And Iíve always secretly dreamed of punching out one of those ultra-cheery overstuffed cartoony mascots (my brother once did -- but thatís another story). So I guess it was that dark secret that drew me to Death to Smoochy.

Robin Willaims plays Rainbow Randolph, a popular kidsí show host whoís reduced to somewhat demented obsessiveness when heís caught trying to make a few illegal bucks on the side and loses his job. The TV network, in an attempt to recover their squeaky-clean image, hires Smoochy (Edward Norton), a giant purple rhino, to take over. Sheldon Mopes, who plays Smoochy, is a lovable, naÔve guy who immediately gets on everyoneís nerves. He refuses to endorse big-dollar Smoochy products Ė like action figures and soda and breakfast cereal. And he sings songs about organic foods. Sheldon doesnít believe in making money off the show -- he just wants to help the kids.

Determined to get his old job back, Randolph plots to destroy Smoochyís reputation. But heís not the only one out to get Smoochy. Even the greedy network execs want him out of the picture.

Just thinking back and picturing scenes from this movie makes me burst out laughing all over again. I guess thatís just my dark side coming out againÖ But I canít help it. Some of it is just that funny -- and it really does make me wonder what goes on behind the scenes of real kidsí shows (and it makes me just a little bit afraid to have children).

Iíll admit, however, that the end of this movie disappointed me. I just didnít get the payoff I was hoping for. In fact, a few plot lines disappointed me -- and when I watched the disagreeable producer, Nora (Catherine Keener), start to soften and fall for Sheldon, I cringed (and I wanted to throw something at the TV). Why, I wondered, couldnít this just be a nice, dark movie -- all the way to the end?

But that said, I still enjoyed the movie as a whole. It was demented and a bit twisted -- and I liked it.

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