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Roxanne (1987)

She wanted a handsome, intelligent, romantic man – two out of three ain’t bad!

Directed by:

Fred Schepisi

James Cameron

Rating: 9/10

Running Time: 107 minutes

UK Certificate: PG

On DVD

Country: United States, United States

Steve Martin struck gold with both his screenplay and performance in this 1987 hit, which is not only a marvellously oddball take on the “Cyrano De Bergerac” story, but also a wonderful romantic comedy in its own right.

C.D. Bales (Martin) very nearly has it all. He's smart, funny, ridiculously athletic and has a good job as the fire chief in the charming small town of Nelson. Unfortunately, he also has a nose so big that it makes Nicole Kidman's absurd prosthetic snout in “The Hours” look fairly acceptable. On second thoughts, it's maybe not THAT big, but you get the idea.

C.D.'s heart goes all a-flutter when beautiful astronomer Roxanne (Daryl Hannah) moves into the neighbourhood – but there's a problem. She's got the hots for Chris (Rick Rossovich), the newbie at the fire station, and what's more she wants C.D. to play Cupid. Chris, meanwhile, has a few problems of his own – namely that he's terrible with women and, worse still, he's as thick as a post. So C.D. reluctantly agrees to help Chris woo the object of both of their affections, and before long gets more than a tad carried away.

Unlike the formulaic tat normally thrown up by Hollywood's endless conveyor belt of so-so rom-coms, the off-beat humour in “Roxanne” is consistently hilarious. Steve Martin is simply brilliant and the film throws up several classic comedy scenes – notably C.D.'s verbal bar-room battle with a knuckle-dragging local (later to inspire a similar scene in “The Nutty Professor”) and his impression of an alien “looking for older women to have sex with”, much to the delight of some passing grannies. Fred Schepisi's direction puts the finishing touch on this wonderfully written, hugely enjoyable landmark in Martin's career.

It's Got: Steve Martin in one of his best ever comedy roles.

It Needs: To be seen by anyone who’s bored rigid with the usual brand of romantic comedy.

DVD Extras Filmographies and trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 2/10

Alternatives:

Alien, Blade Runner, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Planes Trains & Automobiles, Robocop, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Man With Two Brains

Summary

One of the funniest movies of the 80s, “Roxanne” hasn’t aged a bit and remains as side-splitting as ever.

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