5.8/10
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Novocaine (2001)

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A dentist finds himself a murder suspect after a sexy patient seduces him & steals all of the drugs from his practice.

Director:

David Atkins

Writers:

Paul Felopulos (story), David Atkins (story) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chelcie Ross ... Mike
Steve Martin ... Frank Sangster
Laura Dern ... Jean Noble
Lynne Thigpen ... Pat
Polly Noonan Polly Noonan ... Sally
Helena Bonham Carter ... Susan
JoBe Cerny JoBe Cerny ... Pharmacist Wayne Ponze
Elias Koteas ... Harlan Sangster
Yasen Peyankov ... 'Sunshine Lounge' Bartender
Scott Caan ... Duane
Teri Cotruzzola Teri Cotruzzola ... Attractive Complaining Patient
Lucina Paquet Lucina Paquet ... Mrs. Langston
Preston Maybank Preston Maybank ... Gelding
Sally Kao Sally Kao ... Chinese Wife
Quincy Wong Quincy Wong ... Chinese Husband
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Storyline

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 Thomas Nudi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Getting to the root of the problem is like pulling teeth. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality, language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Artisan Entertainment

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

14 December 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Новокаин See more »

Filming Locations:

Cedarburg, Wisconsin, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$418,098, 18 November 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,036,682
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve Martin and Scott Caan did not get along during filming, due to Caan's reckless behavior toward a stunt person in a scene in which his character smashes a beer bottle over the head of a man in a bar. See more »

Goofs

When the DEA agent arrives at Frank's office, he explains he is from the Drug Enforcement Agency, despite the fact that DEA stands for Drug Enforcement Administration. See more »

Quotes

Frank: [Pulling his own teeth to fake his death] Strange as it may seem, it didn't hurt like I thought it would. In fact, with each tooth I pulled, I felt a little better... a little less trapped... a little more free. Until I felt so free that what I had to do didn't seem so bad at all.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The caption 'The End' just before the end credits is displayed in French ('Fin') instead of English. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Game k n b?: Episode dated 5 October 2006 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Major for Violin and Orchestra, K.207
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Takako Nishizaki
Soloist Capella Istropolitana, Conducted by Johannes Wildner
Courtesy of Naxos of America by arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mixed feelings
13 May 2002 | by mattymatt4everSee all my reviews

OK, so I have to give this movie points for originality. How many films involve a dentist protagonist? I watched the featurette on the DVD and director David Atkins explained that he wanted to throw a curve ball at the audience by having Steve Martin play the main character in a dark comedy--since audiences are probably expecting something much broader. I didn't get any laughs out of this film; just some mild chuckles. But whether it's a dark comedy or a mystery-thriller, it doesn't quite gel. And ultimately, the film left a bad taste in my mouth--no pun intended. It's watchable, and at times quite intriguing, but it's definitely not a memorable film that I would watch on repeat viewings.

The cast is spirited. Steve Martin never ceases to please, whether he's playing a broad comic role or the straight man. Here, he plays more of the latter. But I wasn't surprised he was able to pull it off. If anybody has seen Lawrence Kasdan's "Grand Canyon," you know Steve is a versatile actor who can easily pull off a serious role. This isn't his first time playing the straight man. Laura Dern is amusing as Steve's neurotic, obsessive-compulsive, karate-kicking wife. Helena Bonham Carter is sassy and sexy, a totally convincing femme fetale. Elias Koteas has some nice moments as Steve's black-sheep brother. And last but not least, Kevin Bacon has an amusing unbilled cameo as an actor researching murder cases for his upcoming movie.

Danny Elfman's opening theme is wonderfully haunting. There are certain elements of "Novocaine" that I liked, it does have its moments (the twist ending totally caught me by surprise!!), but it just doesn't come together.

My score: 6 (out of 10)


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