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Mixed Nuts

video review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Mixed Nuts

Starring: Steve Martin, Rita Wilson
Director: Nora Ephron
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 97 Minutes
Release Date: December 1994
Genre: Comedy




Review by Steve Rhodes
½ star out of 4

MIXED NUTS, which originally had the title of LIFE SAVERS until that title tested poorly, is the latest Steve Martin movie. In MIXED NUTS he runs a crisis prevention center called Life Savers. People who are about to shoot themselves call the center as do terminally ill patients, men in drag, lonely people and, of course, ha ha, people who just want to talk dirty.

Oops, I forgot to tell you a key fact; theoretically, this is a comedy. Their brand of humor is created by shouting at each other, by providing loud music that tries to put you in a laughing mood, and by having numerous sight gags. A typical sight gag is people rollerbladding down the street carrying a Christmas tree between them. An irritated boyfriend then runs into them and knocks the tree over. Boy, that one sure put me in stitches.

In order to give you a proper grasp of the scale of the quality of the script (written by the director Nora Ephron), let me provide you with the very best piece of writing in the whole movie. Steve Martin calls his girl friend, and she tells him she is breaking up with him since she has been dating someone else for 4 months. She then complains that she wanted to tell him, but "I did not want to do it over the phone like this. I wanted to fax you, but you don't even have a fax!" As soon as your uncontrollable laughter has subsided after reading that last sentence, you can continue reading this review.

There are other people in the show, and in fact, the movie is filled with quirky characters. I will not embarrass them by mentioning any of their names other than Juliette Lewis who was so bad that she deserves a special mention.

The movie is set in Santa Barbara but the camerawork is so cutesy that it manages to make one of the loveliest towns in California just look silly and dreary.

The director should be shot. Surely when she watched the dailies she realized that all of the so called jokes were falling flat. Then again, perhaps she did and that is why she had them start shouting at each other and why she added the zippy soundtrack to makes us forget the "plot". The producer should have gotten a different writer and probably another director or better yet, he should have just given up on the whole project.

I think Steve Martin is the best comedic actor that there is. Nevertheless, he was pathetic in this movie. I am such a big fan of his that I lay most of the blame on the character he was given. If Ephron had just let Martin cut lose and ad lib some it would have made for a much better time at the movies.

MIXED NUTS takes forever to finish but actually runs only 1:37. It is rated PG-13 which I agree with. I recommend you avoid this show at all cost, and I give it 1/2 of a star because, although the movie was a disaster from start to finish, at least it was more stupid than offensive. [Finally, since you are all dying to know, the title MIXED NUTS comes from the fact that the lead character's Dad was killed by a truck of mixed nuts - another memorable line.]

Copyright 1994 Steve Rhodes

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