So, I’m into my last week! This is number 50! Time for a comedy.
And today it’s…
19th December, Day 50
Mixed Nuts (Nora Ephron, 1994)
As Christmas approaches, Philip (Steve Martin) is coming under pressure from his landlord Stanley (Garry Shandling) to pay the rent he owes. Philip runs Lifesavers, a crisis helpline with the besotted Catherine (Jingle All The Ways’ Rita Wilson) and the unsympathetic Mrs Munchnik (Madeline Kahn). They are called by transgender Chris (Liev Schreider) and a women scared of the Seaside Strangler, a murderer who is still at large. Philip also get mixed up with pregnant Gracie (Juliette Lewis) and her husband Felixstowe (Anthony LaPaglia), as well as a yuppie couple played by Parker Posey and Jon Stewart (yup, that Jon Stewart) who are obsessed with getting the perfect Christmas tree. Philips girlfriend Susan dumps him when he asks for a small loan to pay off Lifesavers debt. Can Philip keep it all together with all of these wacky things going on? Did I mention Adam Sandler is there as well?
There are scarey things on the Internet. However, when I found articles claiming this to be a forgotten, misunderstood Christmas classic, I knew I had plumbed the Internet’s sickest depths.
I don’t enjoy bad films. I’m not someone who wants to watch a film so I can write a scathing review about it. And when putting this Countdown together, I didn’t include bad movies for the sake of it. Santa With Muscles earned it’s place because I was looking for a third wrestling related movie. I’d never seen Four Christmases, so that earned its place based on Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon (and a gif I saw of Jon Favreau plaing Taboo in it). Santa Claus Conquers The Martians – no thank you! Life is too short to knowingly watch bad films.
So, when looking for a comedy film, what better than one starring Steve Martin from Nora Ephron, the director of Sleepless in Seattle who also wrote When Harry Met Sally? The answer: almost anything would have been better.
I really don’t know where to start. It’s meant to be a black farce, but it’s all so contrived. The whole point of a farce is that it starts small and escalates naturally. Thr story is forced along by weird (not interesting, just weird) doing weird things. Steve Martin is a comedy great, but somewhere in the early nineties he lost his way, going from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Parenthood to trying to remake Sgt Bilbo. This lies slap bang in that period. The whole film is a mess, uneven, and doesn’t even have the good grace to be offensive so I can rant about it. Just… don’t bother. Find the helpline episode of Inside No. 9 instead.
Overall, I give this
And it was lucky to get that.
Tomorrow we plough into the last week of Christmas with a classic, and one of Humphrey Bogart’s rare comedies, with WE’RE NO ANGELS!
Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.
PS Here’s my list so far
31st October, Day 1: The Nightmare Before Christmas
1st November, Day 2: Rocky IV
2nd November, Day 3: Edward Scissorhands
3rd November, Day 4: Trading Places
4th November, Day 5: Batman Returns
5th November, Day 6: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
6th November, Day 7: Gremlins
7th November, Day 8: Eyes Wide Shut
8th November, Day 9: Love Actually
9th November, Day 10: Lethal Weapon
10th November, Day 11: Die Hard / Die Hard 2
11th November, Day 12: About A Boy
12th November, Day 13: Trapped In Paradise
13th November, Day 14: Reindeer Games
14th November, Day 15: Joyeux Noel
15th November, Day 16: Nativity / Nativity 2 / Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?
16th November, Day 17: Jack Frost
17th November, Day 18: Jack Frost
18th November, Day 19: Arthur Christmas
19th November, Day 20: The Santa Clause / The Santa Clause 2 / The Santa Clause 3
20th November, Day 21: Miracle On 34th Street
21st November, Day 22: Miracle On 34th Street
22nd November, Day 23: Scrooged
23rd November, Day 24: Scrooge
24th November, Day 25: The Muppets Christmas Carol
25th November, Day 26: Elf
26th November, Day 27: Home Alone / Home Alone 2
27th November, Day 28: The Grinch
28th November, Day 29: Black Christmas
29th November, Day 30: Jingle All The Way
30th November, Day 31: Rare Exports
1st December, Day 32: Polar Express
2nd December, Day 33: A Christmas Story
3rd December, Day 34: Bad Santa
4th December, Day 35: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
5th December, Day 36: Santa Claus: The Movie
6th December, Day 37: Krampus
7th December, Day 38: Christmas With The Kranks
8th December, Day 39: White Christmas
9th December, Day 40: A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
10th December, Day 41: Christmas With The Coopers
11th December, Day 42: Fred Claus
12th December, Day 43: Santa’s Little Helper
13th December, Day 44: Santa With Muscles
14th December, Day 45: Santa’s Slay
15th December, Day 46: Four Christmases
16th December, Day 47: A Christmas Horror Story
17th December, Day 48: The Family Man
18th December, Day 49: Silent Night, Deadly Night!
19th December, Day 50: Mixed Nuts