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Novocaine (2001)
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Review Date: November 19, 2001
Director: David Watkins
Writer: David Watkins
Producers: Paul Mones, Daniel Rosenberg
Actors:
Steve Martin as Frank Sangster
Helena Bonham Carter as Susan Ivy
Laura Dern as Jean
Plot:
A dentist has an affair with one of his patients and soon finds himself on the short list of suspects in a local murder case. Is he the real killer? Did someone set him up? Is he actually Tyler Durden? Read more below!
Critique:
I like these kinds of movies. You know, the kind that start off in a little small town with regular people, regular jobs, regular run-of-the-mill happenings, and a regular guy in the middle of it all. In this case, the regular guy is Steve Martin and he's a dentist with a hot-to-trot girlfriend, played sexily by Ms. Laura Dern (can you say "growl!"). Anyway, you get to know this guy, he seems "nice enough", and then one day, he tells a little white lie to his girlfriend. Hmmmmm, nothing wrong with that, right? I mean, what's a little white lie? But alas, we know the game of movies and this baby's gonna spiral downwards faster than you can say "Jerry Lundegaard". Soon enough, that one lie is followed by another one, then an even bigger one, then a murder occurs and then someone finds the panties of one of your babelicious patients in your pocket and well...it's like I said...I like these kinds of movies. The kind that put you in a real-life situation, and then twist the bottle cap right off! A fun movie to watch. Of course, it's not perfect. Much like any other film of its type, the story really has to take some realistic twists and turns in order to keep you in the game, and for the most part, this movie succeeds, but things get a little far-fetched near the end, especially when the "mastermind" behind it all fesses up, and goes a little over-the-top. Mind you, this isn't a very "serious" movie...it's a noirish comedic tale of small town murder gone awry...and yup, kookiness ensues.

And on the whole, the film is original, packed with quirky characters and obviously has a very strong sense of humor about itself (at one point, two characters debate about how they are not in a movie, although they don't think they are, but we obviously know they are, etc...). It was also really nice to see Marla Singer still alive and kickin' it in small town U.S.A. Yeah, Marla, Marla, Marla...not too many babes like her around. Bonham Carter is as adorable as they come, and if she wears those darn cute pony-tails in one other movie, I'm seriously gonna wet myself. Anyway, back to the story...yes, this isn't a grand film, it's not going to change anybody's life, but it's a really well-made production, with some pretty high points for style (love those novocaine trips and x-ray shots), a real gumpshin for double-crosses and misplayed loyalties, and an ending that I don't think anybody will see coming. Like I said, there are plot turns which do get kind of "iffy" near the end, but if that means that you have to sit through some fun stuff, a couple of Bonham Carter boobie shots and a hilarious cameo by Kevin Bacon as a self-indulgent "Hollywood actor", well, there are worse ways to spend your money.
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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