Trixie

In the long, hit-and-miss career of writer-director Alan Rudolph, this misbegotten comedy falls squarely into the miss bin. Trixie Zurbo (Emily Watson) works routine security for the Attack Security Agency, but longs for a real case to crack. Sure, every other word from her mouth is a malapropism and every second line a mangled cliché — Trixie makes...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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In the long, hit-and-miss career of writer-director Alan Rudolph, this misbegotten comedy falls squarely into the miss bin. Trixie Zurbo (Emily Watson) works routine security for the Attack Security Agency, but longs for a real case to crack. Sure, every other

word from her mouth is a malapropism and every second line a mangled cliché — Trixie makes Norm Crosby sound like William Safire — but she's nobody's fool. Trixie gets her big break when she's sent to nab pickpockets at a casino overlooking a picturesque mountain lake that's slowly being

poisoned by greedy local developer Red Rafferty (Will Patton). She gets the lowdown on Red from schmaltzy casino entertainer Kirk Stans (Nathan Lane), including background on Red's floozy chanteuse Dawn Sloane (Lesley Ann Warren), and his flirtatious right-hand man, Dex Lang (Dermot Mulroney). The

more Trixie sees of Dex, the more she likes; the more she finds out about Red, the more suspicious she becomes, particularly of his shady dealings with double-talking Senator Drummond Avery (Nick Nolte). When Dawn disappears and Dex is beaten by Red's thugs, Trixie has a real-life case on her

hands. With a Chicago accent thicker than deep-dish pizza, her mouth full of gum and a touching air of loneliness, Trixie is a wonderful idea for a character, but little more. Watson gives it all she's got — which is quite a bit — but beyond some very funny slips of the tongue, there's

just not much to her, and the details of the surrounding mystery are hackneyed and uninvolving. Rudolph tried to fashion what he calls a "screwball noir," but the best parts of his film have nothing to do with either genre. They come when the camera focuses tightly on Watson's open face, and Mark

Isham and Roger Neill's dreamy soundtrack suggests depths to Trixie's character that Rudolph never bothered to explore.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: R
  • Review: In the long, hit-and-miss career of writer-director Alan Rudolph, this misbegotten comedy falls squarely into the miss bin. Trixie Zurbo (Emily Watson) works routine security for the Attack Security Agency, but longs for a real case to crack. Sure, every o… (more)

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