A holiday comedy with dark overtones, Mixed Nuts presents a supposedly humorous look at the behind-the-scenes events at a crisis hotline on Christmas Eve. Philip (Steve Martin) runs Lifesavers, a Venice, California organization dedicated to helping the depressed and troubled.
Unfortunately, Philip is a bit down himself, having learned that Lifesavers is on the verge of eviction. His staff isn't feeling particularly helpful either, with Mrs. Munchnik (Madeline Kahn) giving gruff, often insulting advice, and Catherine (Rita Wilson) obsessing over her own unspoken love for Philip.
As the holiday approaches, various weirdoes of all shapes and sizes -- from to a pregnant clothing store owner (Juliette Lewis) to a disenchanted Santa Claus (Anthony LaPaglia) -- begin dropping in, throwing the already strained office into utter chaos.
Director Nora Ephron followed her smash success Sleepless in Seattle with this remake of the cult 1982 French comedy Le Père Noël est une Ordure, co-authoring the script with her sister Delia Ephron. However, Mixed Nuts met with little box office or critical approval, with most viewers finding the film's manic farce disappointingly forced and abrasive.