Sgt. Bilko is a well-liked conman in charge of the army base's motor pool, developing a hover tank and unofficially of gambling etc. One man hates Bilko and he's coming to inspect the base for possible closure.
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 1990s 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
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 »
A real pharmacist would have phoned the doctor to verify the drug and amount before filling the prescription. See more »
[Discovering he's been framed for his brother's murder]
Suddenly, there I was... seeing it all for the first time. Oh, she'd set me up, all right. Not just for Duane's murder. She'd gotten me for Harlan's too. My teeth marks were all over the body.
[Trying to figure out what to do, he notices a bottle of Novocaine]
Then I saw the solution. It was right there in front of me. Frank Sangster had to die... and his whole, perfect world along with him.
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Thanks to the Atkins family, the Mones family and the Rosenberg family. See more »
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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