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Novocaine

Starring: Steve Martin, Laura dern, Helena Bonham Carter, Scott Caan and Elias Koteas
Directed by: David Atkins
Rated: R

 

Steve Martin is a talented fellow. We've watched him morph from comedy writer, to wild and crazy man with an Egyptian shtick to a comedic actor and producer. In David Mamet's brilliant The Spanish Prisoner, serious actor Steve really emerged and taught us not to expect the same old stuff from this funny man. In Bowfinger, which he scripted, Steve attacked Hollywood in that subtle "Martinesque" way. Now he's turning again. This time to a subtle actor, calm and unnerving, at the same time.

In Novocaine Steve's a dentist a plain old guy, with no plaid, named Frank. Frank's got a nice dental business, a beautiful, if militant, fiancé, Jean (Laura Dern) and a whole heap of trouble heading his way in the form of a dirty pint size cat named Susan (Helena Bonham - "I prefer unavailable men, it's more exciting to get them- then dump them"-Carter).

Susan insists upon late night cleanings from the good doctor of dentistry…well, you all know what a man, a woman and a dental chair equal. So, faster than you can spit into a sanitized bowl, Frank's intertwined with Susan in some gyrating molder grinding techniques Frank learned at his academy of root canals.

But Susan is not just after the doctor for his good looks and fancy faux leather couches in the waiting room; seems poor Ivy's a bit of a junkie and the doctor's office has a hefty supply of "feel good fast" drugs in their pharmacy. Bummer.

Susan's little shop of horrors has even more goodies to unfold; she's got a big evil brother, Duane (Scott Caan - son of James) hell bent on taken the good doctor down and a tragic personal history that could be put to country music.

Jeeze, maybe Frank's brother, dirty rotten scoundrel Harlan ( Elias Koteas), the black sheep in the family, can help him...maybe.

Steve's a sexy guy. He's been gray since about twenty and he wears it so well. He's like a heaping helping of delectable mashed potatoes that you're just yearning to drizzle gravy all over and gobble down like a rabid Rhesus monkey. I have adored this man since about twelve years old ( I was innocently, sexually, precocious) and still remember agreeing to all kinds of household duties if only my mom would take me to see him on his World Tut Tour...Four weeks of dishes and laundry later I sat front row...He wore no shirt, a colorful headpiece and danced around the stage like an aphrodisiac of endorphins. No wonder I still crave all things Egyptian!

Helena Bonham Carter needs a shrink for her extracurricular behaviors…that's all I'll say about that. You know what I mean.... I'm just refering to her Planet Of The Apes bit-o-fun this summer where she "scooped" Tim Burton up from Lisa Marie, and dumped Kenneth Branananagahagah her last conquest... Say, weren't they both her directors and with romantically involved with significant others at the time…oops! But, the chick can act and morph at her day job — that's for sure.

Laura Dern just doesn't do enough. She's a wonderful actress and insanely wicked in this film! You wont see her werewolfish uber bitch teeth right away, which is so nice! A non-telegraphed script with real talent projected in the frames. Yummy.

The twists are refreshing and the plot a lot of fun. Novocaine isn't as quick a tale as Spanish Prisoner, but it's got some clever bits that will certainly keep you intrigued and awaiting the next frame. Steve's a great actor who definitely has a Cyrano de Bergerac-like nose for a good script (Three Amigos forgiven- of course). So spend a few of your pennies from heaven and get out to see one of our most valuable comedic treasures stretch his big manly arms of talent in yet another non-typecasting role.

Snack Recommendation: Chocolate coated raisins! They keep a dentist's office chock-full o' patients.

 

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