Mixed Nuts
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -1 1/2

Steve Martin plays Philip, the kind-hearted founder of Lifesavers, a crisis phone center in Los Angeles. Things seem to be going all wrong during the holiday season for Philip and his co-workers Katherine (Rita Wilson) and Mrs. Munchnik (Madeline Kahn). Apart from taking the usual crazy prank calls, people start popping into the center on Christmas Eve, including a ukelele playing transvestite (Adam Sandler). Things get further complicated when Felix and Gracie (Anthony La Paglia and Juliette Lewis) end up shooting their landlord Stanley (Gary Shandling). Christmas is indeed the season of magic, making all the bizarre plot twists simply resolved in the last five minutes. The abundant slapstick comedy and humorous grimaces by Martin are not enough to save this uneven comedy that never really gets off the ground. Though billed as a heart-warming movie akin to SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, you won't lose any sleep over missing this film.

On the positive side, MIXED NUTS leaves out much of the objectionable material frequently found in PG-13 films. Perhaps the most disturbing element is the humorous portrayal of the transvestite character. By the end of the film, he is portrayed as a happy and fairly well-adjusted character instead of one needing a radical change in his lifestyle. Just one more in a long line of examples of Hollywood's attempt to "re-educate" Americans on what is right and wrong. There is no nudity and the violence is all slapstick. Felix, disoriented from being hit by a brick-like fruitcake, accidentally takes a whole bottle of animal tranquilizers. Even when the landlord is accidentally shot, it is through the door and no blood is shown. Offensive language includes a few obscenities and many exlamatory profanities. Also, sexual references and allusions to intercourse pepper the film. The positive treatment of a transvestite lifestyle, along with distasteful language and sexual references, makes MIXED NUTS a very mixed bag.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Distributor: TriStar Pictures, 9000 Sunset Blvd., #711, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Crude Language: Once - Moderate
Obscene Language: Few (2-3) times (no s- or f-words)
Profanity: Many (26) times - Regular 2 (G), Exclamatory 24
Violence: Few times - Moderate (mostly slapstick; man shot through door and killed; man hit in head with fruitcake; woman knocked unconscious by door)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied twice, no nudity
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: Favorable portrayal of transvestite; two men dancing together
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times - references to interccourse, genitals, brief kissing scene
Drug Abuse: Accidental ingestion of animal tranquilizers
Other: Message that transvestitism is acceptable
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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