‘Mixed Nuts’ Review: Something Worse than Coal for Christmas

Posted in The Screening Room by - December 23, 2015

When you first take a purely surface look at Mixed Nuts, you see a movie that could have been something great. It’s a holiday film helmed by comedy veteran Nora Ephron and features the talents of Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, Anthony LaPaglia, Juliette Lewis and even pre-2000’s Adam Sandler. This movie had everything going for it yet it proved to be one of the most painful comedies I’ve had to sit through. At an  hour and 30 minutes it’s not a long movie by any means but counting the minutes slowly tick away made it feel like an eternity.

The film features our protagonist Phillip (Martin) struggling to keep his not-for-profit suicide helpline afloat. He faces eviction notices and romantic troubles all throughout the movie, it’s made worse by the constant troubles brought about by unexpected events during Christmas Eve. There have been worse plots in cinema, there have been recycled, overused and simple plots in comedy films that manage to give you a few laughs here and there and leave you mildly satisfied.

In Mixed Nuts however, that is not the case. It seems Ms. Ephron gave the actors free reign to say anything that came to their mind and follow a rough clichéd outline of your typical sentimental holiday film. That’s not to say there aren’t funny moments, there are maybe two or three attempts at humor that pay off. Sadly, this film falls victim to the short-set brand of humor that plagues many low-budget comedies. It’s sad to see actors like Martin, Wilson and LaPaglia use cheap gags when we’ve seen them in movies that have a special place in our heart. The attempts at random slapstick humor are reminiscent of a bad SNL skit. The kind you watch late at night because you’re too drunk to go out but not drunk enough to laugh at what you’re watching.

The movie is unfunny to the point of being painfully irritating, like an annoying cousin who won’t stop making fart noises and picking his nose. It’s a movie wrapped in bad pacing, inconsistent atmosphere and a plot line that wandered off somewhere in the middle of the transvestite getting shot by an intoxicated Santa. Overall, the film works as well as rain in California.

This holiday season, don’t spend your time watching Mixed Nuts, Die Hard is probably funnier.

Final Verdict: Skip It

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When not drowning in school work or ignoring social obligations he enjoys watching movies on just about anything. Currently making his way through the cinema classics he hopes to one day write a novel, but he’ll probably end up playing The Witcher 3 instead.
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