Parents' Guide to

Mixed Nuts

By Christie Cronan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Dark 1990s holiday comedy has violence, language, innuendo.

Movie PG-13 1994 97 minutes
Mixed Nuts Movie Poster: Steve Martin in Santa hat with cast sitting below

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Despite an all-star cast, this is one of Martin and director Nora Ephron's least funny comedies. While the focus on mental health and humor might seem likely to bring a fresh twist to the usual holiday movie plotline, Mixed Nuts ends up short on laughs. It has missed punchlines, a lack of successful physical comedy moments, and an overall dark, sarcastic comic tone that hasn't aged well over time. Underplaying the importance of suicide prevention backfires: This holiday film takes a turn for the worse with a series of unbelievable events featuring even more unbelievable characters in an attempt to save both Philip's failing business and his love life.

Complex issues like suicide and mental health are addressed with sarcasm and dark comedy, which could send mixed messages, especially to younger viewers. That, plus the movie's violence, strong language, and sexual innuendo, seals the deal on making it best for mature audiences. Honestly, there's very little there that's likely to appeal to kids anyway -- except maybe an early appearance by Adam Sandler being Adam Sandler.

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