Novocaine (2001)

R   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Drama


Novocaine (2001) Poster

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

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5.8/10
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  • Steve Martin and Helena Bonham Carter in Novocaine (2001)
  • Gabriel Byrne at an event for Novocaine (2001)
  • David Atkins at an event for Novocaine (2001)
  • Helena Bonham Carter at an event for Novocaine (2001)
  • Gabriel Byrne at an event for Novocaine (2001)
  • David Atkins at an event for Novocaine (2001)

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13 May 2002 | mattymatt4ever
6
| Mixed feelings
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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