Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12
Cast
Steve Martin
Madeline Kahn
Robert Klein
Anthony LaPaglia.
Directors
Screenwriters
Running Time
97 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Ida
4 Star Empire Rating
Night Will Fall
4 Star Empire Rating
Grand Piano
3 Star Empire Rating
20,000 Days On Earth
4 Star Empire Rating
Manuscripts Don't Burn
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

Mixed Nuts
Comedy with mental people


submit to reddit


Plot
The events focus around a crisis hotline business on one crazy night during the Christmas holidays.


Review
The loudest laughs from this very poor screwball comedy come thanks to the sight of Juliette Lewis with a few cushions up her jumper and Steve Martin falling headlong over his own jokes. Nora Ephron (the woman who brought When Harry Met Sally to the page and Sleepless in Seattle to the screen) has had a breakdown, a humour bypass, a very bad day. The result, a retarded Christmas caper set around a smalltown suicide help-line, went skimming past the cinema straight to video in this country — something of a shock in the Steven Martin department. But in case you were thinking of paying for the privilege because you sobbed at Sleepless, was jollied along by The Jerk and cringed at Cape Fear, here’s one word of advice: don’t.
Martin is caring-sharing counsellor Philip, responsible for a telephone hotline for the terminally depressed and desperate. It’s countdown to Christmastime, and Martin and his colleagues are battling to keep body and soul together under threat of eviction from a nasty landlord. In the only stroke of irony that Ephron can muster — and presumably that an American audience will understand — Philip and his colleagues, while handing out parcels of advice to others, have no luck in their own lives. Philip has been dumped by his fiancee and before the night is out will confront a cross-dresser and a gun wielding Santa. A tenuous workplace romance is fuddled by terrible jokes and a lacklustre zany subplot with Lewis as a hugely pregnant harping shop-owner married to a psychopathic would-be wall-painter.
Philip cheerily informs us in the film’s early stages that a lorryload of mixed nuts was responsible for the death of his father. The discovery is a happy one for us, simply because we can afford to wonder for a few moments just how many packets of noisette nibbles it would take to dispatch this bunch of damp squibbers to the realms of kingdom come. The words “What possessed them?” “Have they no shame?” vie with one another for top of the pile of immediate reactions.


Verdict
The beginning of Steve Martin's non-funny comedies. Ephron should know better as well.


Reviewed by Louise Brealy

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

The Future Of Film: Your Favourite Movie WIll Be Crowdfunded
Click here to donate

The Empire Podcast #128: Interviews With Sir Roger Moore And George MacKay
Plus we say goodbye to Richard Kiel and the British Expendables are assembled...

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Paul Newman
A cat so cool he makes Steve McQueen look geeky.

The Future Of Film: There’ll Be An Oscar For Performance Capture
And the Academy Award goes to...

The Boxtrolls Interviews: The Cast And Crew On Laika's Latest
Sir Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning and more talk stop-motion

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)