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Novocaine

Reviewed By Thom
Posted 11/14/01 04:24:06

"A man will go a long way to get some pussy"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

A for inventiveness, C+ for execution. Bonham Carter plays another bad girl, so now she has TWO characters she knows how to play. And in a playful homage to the roles that made her career, Martin puts Carter in an idealistic country setting at the end of the film.

Oh, did I give it all away? No.

Before I go any further, I have to tell you, this movie is about a dentist who gets framed by a junkie for murder and then falls in love with her.

The addition of Kevin Bacon brings in a vehicle for reality vs movies and an exchange about how ďthis is real lifeĒ. Bacon plays an actor studying for a part who ends up performing actual police work which just makes it all the more ironic, blah blah blah. Been done, I know, I just canít think of where. Itís clever. This whole movie is just so BLOODY clever. Emphasis on the Bloody.

This Whodunit pays off. Just when you think the Butler did it, BLAMMO! Played for a fool all along.

The plot builds nicely and then there is a big leap, Dr. Sangster (The dentist played by Steve Martin), who has been away from his home for maybe three hours after being told by the police that heís not a suspect but should stick around just in case, is broadcast all over the news as a wanted man. So now heís got to hide out and whatís more, the police show up at exactly that same moment.

This is great movie stuff but if you follow the probability factor carefully, this pulled us too far to fast. It didnít take me long to forget this little glitch and I just stayed in the moment with the film. Which means that any little incongruity or non-sequitor wouldnít matter anyway because there was no past or even a future. I just rolled with it. It wasnít that impressive and I get that Martin has a long list of credits and is a very talented writer and comedian and there were some bizarro moments that I enjoyed buuuuut .... I can't decide if I was engrossed or just numb. So where does that leave you, dear reader?

Martin now needs to go make a wickedly deranged comedy for grown ups.

The film bordered on artsy but also reminded me of that made for HBO flick, The Dentist with a similar ending. If you havenít seen it, The Insane Dentist yanks every last tooth out of his wifes head. The opening sequence was pure industrial grindage with a montage of eery x-rays talk and eating and a hard edged soundtrack. The film was scored by Danny Elfman who is known in the press notes as ďformer member of playfully macabre Los Angeles band, Oingo BoingoĒ. Thatís a nice way to soften the edge. ďplayfullyĒ.

Hey Kids! Death is Fun! Oh, never mind them, they are just being boys. With songs like Only a Lad about a pyromaniac delinquent, Dead Manís Party, Weird Science and I Love Little Girls (which sounds just plain illegal and probably tactless if not downright creepy), they are now being passed off with a wink and a nudge, you know, itís all fun and games. Weíre just joking. Hehe. Wheee! While they hide the bone behind their back. Blood? What Blood? I swear there is no buzz kill like a grownup coming along and approving of what you are doing to shock them.

I liked that the film took bizarre stylistic risks while not being too much David Lynch or too much pulp noir and still ending up as some kind of a comedy. Itís a little odd, if you ask me, to make murder and mayhem the centerpiece of a comedy, but what the hell, we donít like boundaries, anyway, do we, folks?

Novocaine is clever but too twisty and turny. Cute at times and I even like Carterís character, even if it is a reprise of her Fight Club persona, but much, much sexier. Iím hoping a bunch of chicks will start to imitate her style in this movie, since its so fuckiní hot with her little titties all hanging out and shit.

We came close to but didnít quite get an eyeful of Martinís ass. Heís aged, yes, but heís aged well. It was nice to see CCH Pounder in a role that lets her actually act as the manager of the dental office. I have a lot of admiration for her, but mostly because she starred in one of my favorite movies of all time, Bagdad Cafť.

The characterizations were fresh and vibrant interpretations old standbys. The sleaze drips hot and greasy off this film and the clean cut professional, it turns out, is hungry for a heart attack special.

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