Sunday, October 16, 2016

Movie Review: "Roxanne" (1987)

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Director: Fred Schepisi
Year: 1987
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Fire chief C.D. Bales (Steve Martin) is smart, charming, witty, and athletic, but his giant nose makes him self conscious about his looks. He falls for a beautiful astronomy student named Roxanne (Daryl Hannah), who he believes could never be attracted to him because of his nose. When a new firefighter named Chris (Rick Rossovich) comes to town, Roxanne is immediately attracted to him. The only problem is, he's as dumb as a stump and gets flustered around women. Chris asks C.D. to help him talk to Roxanne, and against his better judgment and to his own detriment, he agrees.

Directed by Fred Schepisi with a screenplay written by Steve Martin, "Roxanne" is a modern day re-imagining of "Cyrano de Bergerac." Steve Martin himself plays the Cryrano de Bergerac character, renamed to C.D. Bales. He is smart, witty, athletic, and has a way with words, but he has a great big ol' huge nose, like Pinocchio telling a massive lie big. This makes him insecure and very sensitive about his looks. Daryl Hannah plays the titular Roxanne, and she is smart, beautiful, and a bit of a romantic. One day while out with friends, Roxanne spots Chris, played by Rick Rossovich, the new guy in town who works with C.D. at the fire department. Roxanne immediately finds him attractive, but he has problems talking to women...well, he has a problem talking period. He also isn't very well read compared to astronomy grad student Roxanne. Chris asks C.D. for some help writing letters to Roxanne to express how he feels. C.D. agrees despite the fact he also has feelings for Roxanne. He uses these letters to express his true feelings, which effectively woo her even though it's Chris and his pretty face that get all the credit.

"Roxanne" is quintessential Steve Martin, who gives a worthy performance using his signature combination of witty, smart, yet completely silly act in an underrated comedy we very much enjoy watching. Martin has managed to put an interesting twist on this classic tale, making it into a far more digestible, relatable romantic comedy for mass consumption. It contains the old tried and true message 'its what is on the inside that truly counts.' Martin, of course, is very good in the film and carries it almost entirely. The supporting cast do have their moments to shine as well. Daryl Hannah and Steve Martin have good chemistry together. We watch C.D. pine for Roxanne the entire picture, and she seems oblivious to the fact that a sweet heart, a gentle disposition, and a budding sense of humor are much better traits than a pretty face, even though she's borderline obsessed with Chris. Rick Rossovich plays the dolt in Chris, who fumbles and literally bumbles his way into Roxanne's heart with little to no effort, even though his heart might not be in the right place. These three actors do a great job bolstering this fun, lighthearted movie.

There's not a whole lot to "Roxanne" in terms of new content since it's a re-imagining of a classic tale. The story is simple and sweet, but still manages to hit you in the heart a couple of times. It is definitely worth checking out for fans of Steve Martin or Daryl Hannah, or anyone looking to watch an underappreciated romantic comedy.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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