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By Luisa F. Ribeiro | Posted

With the magnetism of star Emily Watson and the reputation for eccentric black comedy of writer/director Alan Rudolph (Afterglow), you have the right to expect more from Trixie, an unfortunately pallid little comedy. Watson is Emily Zurbo, a doofus Chicago security guard with a hopeless propensity for malapropisms, a bit of business that starts off hysterically ("You've got to grab the bull by the tail and look him in the eye") but sinks into tiresome overkill. Trixie gets the chance to realize her dream of being a private investigator when she is assigned an undercover job at a casino, where she falls in with two-bit hustler Dex Lang (Dermot Mulroney), slimy developer Red Rafferty (Will Patton), his pathetic girlfriend Dawn (always-fun Rudolph regular Lesley Ann Warren), and their connection to double-talking Sen. Drummond Avery (Nick Nolte). With the addition of club singer/comedian Kirk Stans (Nathan Lane in overdrive) and Dex's ex-girlfriend Ruby (Brittany Murphy), the plot gets bogged down in murder, blackmail, tapes, and disguises. Rudolph depends too much on Watson's skill at blending innocence with guile to carry the show; despite all her efforts, the combination of farce and noir end up an unsatisfactory mix.

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