"A Private Defective"
What You Need To Know:
Although TRIXIE deals with the importance of finding the truth, it lacks substance otherwise. All the bad examples involve dishonesty and deceit. As a comedy, the movie struggles because of the poor dialogue. Trixie’s character is underdeveloped. Viewers never come to know why she is driven to search for the truth, and her faulty English becomes monotonous. There are also plenty of foul language in the movie, some sexual situations and dialogue, and a lot of drinking and gambling in TRIXIE.
(Pa, H, B, LLL, V, S, NN, AA, D, MM) Pagan worldview with humanistic & moral elements; 18 obscenities, 8 profanities & much talking about sex & sexual innuendoes; several scenes of men fighting & punching & murder off-screen, but not graphic; one scene of two unmarried adults beginning to fornicate before being interrupted; rear male nudity; a lot of drinking; smoking & drug use implied; and much gambling not rebuked & corruption rebuked.
Actress Emily Watson displays her versatility in TRIXIE, an unlikely combination of film noir and screwball comedy where she portrays an undercover security guard. Quirky and a bit odd, Trixie Zurbo (Watson) desperately wants to solve a case. After working a lot of dead-end jobs, she finally gets her chance at a lakefront casino keeping an eye out for pickpockets. In the process, she becomes involved in her first real detective case, a political murder mystery involving Senator Drummond Avery, played by Nick Nolte, and a host of other colorful characters. The fun begins as a series of tangled plot complications unfolds.
What contributes to Trixie’s quirky character is her idiosyncratic logic and her misspoken sayings, such as “It’s time to swallow the bullet” and “You have to grab the bull by the tail.” Her naïve innocence does not mean she’s inept, however. Dermot Mulroney plays Dex Lane, a smooth-talking ladies’ man pursuing Trixie who asks her at one point, “When you speak, do you ever listen to yourself?” Dex charms Trixie at the casino. Through him, she is introduced to his boss, Red Rafferty (Will Patton), a brutal resort developer, as well as Senator Avery and Dawn Sloan, an alcoholic wannabe lounge singer played by Lesley Ann Warren. When Dawn is murdered, Trixie is determined to find the killer.
TRIXIE is a movie about communication and truth. Although Trixie doesn’t speak properly, she is, in fact, the only one in the movie who really makes any sense by the end of the story. Director Alan Rudolph (AFTERGLOW), who also wrote this movie, contrasts her character with the politicians, businessmen and entertainers who live by distortions and lies. Regrettably, the movie takes a long time to get this point across to the viewers. At first, Trixie’s twisted adages are humorous; by the end of the movie, viewers are satiated with them. Also, the rest of the dialogue is sometimes stunted, bordering on corny.
As Trixie, Ms. Watson carries the movie, however. She also gets fine support from the rest of the cast, including Nathan Lane as another alcoholic entertainer and Nick Nolte as Senator Avery.
Although TRIXIE deals with the importance of finding the truth, it lacks substance otherwise. All the bad examples involve dishonesty and deceit. As a comedy, the movie struggles because of the poor dialogue. Trixie’s character is underdeveloped. Viewers never come to know why she is driven to search for the truth. There is also plenty of foul language in the movie, some sexual situations and dialogue, and a lot of drinking and gambling.