Set in the Barneyesque world of children’s television, this comedy of backstabbing overkill tells a moldy-oldie, not-nearly-as-nasty-as-it-thinks-it-is joke. ”Rainbow” Randolph Smiley (Robin Williams), the host of TV’s most highly rated kids’ show, is — get a load of this! — a big fake. Fired in disgrace, he takes vengeance upon his replacement, Smoochy, a cuddly singsong rhino played in a big fuzzy horned fuchsia suit by Sheldon Mopes (Edward Norton), a genial do-gooder. The director, Danny DeVito, hits you over the head with his thudding misanthropic bombast, and Adam Resnick’s script is so precious in its purple rage that it sounds like an overcooked cross between Bruce Vilanch and Clifford Odets. Even Williams’ meant-to-be-shocking rants come with quotation marks. D+

Death to Smoochy
  • Movie
  • 108 minutes