Death to Smoochy: DeVitto’s Mean-Spirited Film

Considering that it’s a comedy about a TV children show, Danny DeVitto’s Death to Smoochy is a particularly irritating, nasty, and mean-spirited film. Marked by dark and nasty overtones, with too many changes of emotions and tones (often within the same scene) for its own good, this adult (R-rated) comedy is by turns cynical and sentimental, goofy and earnest, never finding its central core and almost penalizing the viewers by subjecting them to an uneven series of set pieces.

Trying to do much, but operating way below its level of aspiration, Death to Smoochy, may divide critics into those who think it’s original and funny and those who believe it’s simply grating. However, despite an alluring cast, headed by Robin Williams, Edward Norton, and Catherine Keener, its debatable whether Middle America will find this odd picture entertaining.