With the help of a talking freeway billboard, a "wacky weatherman" tries to win the heart of an English newspaper reporter, who is struggling to make sense of the strange world of early-90s Los Angeles.
Richard E. Grant
Dr. Frank Sangster is a straight-laced dentist who because of one innocent lie, finds his tidy, prosperous life transformed into a comic quagmire of illicit sex, illegal drugs and inexplicable murder in this brilliantly offbeat, bitingly comedic film! Written by
Novocaine is a very strange film. It doesn't make up its mind whether it's a take off on a genre or is it playing straight. That said, the story has a lot of laughs and it was a complete surprise given the negative comments one had heard about this film. David Watkins' script and direction give this film a different look of what Hollywood is giving us lately. Steve Martin is a very difficult actor to cast and he has to have the right vehicle and direction in order to excel, as he does here. Sometimes Mr. Martin comes across rather shallow in some of his screen portrayals, but as the dentist at the center of this comedy, he is at the top of his craft. Laura Dern is just perfect in her role. She keeps getting better all the time, whether it's comedy, as it is here, or her other film this year, Focus. She's an actress who doesn't repeat herself. She's a true original. Helena Bonham-Carter is perfect as the junkie that appears in Steve Martin's life. Quite a change for her image, better known for her appearances in serious films. This must have been quite a turn around for this actress, better remembered for her work in serious English drama. The most remarkable scenes are those of the great Kevin Bacon as an actor tailing David Keith in preparation for an upcoming police film. He is hilarious as the method actor in search of ways to interpret the real life detective in the movies.
All in all, this is a very satisfying comedy.
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