Roxanne (1987) Film Review


Ah, the heyday of Steve Martin. Three Amigos, The Man with Two Brains, The Jerk. And Roxanne. Fabulous.

It’s based on the play Cyrano de Bergerac, Roxanne is a romantic comedy about CD (Steve Martin), the local fire chief who has a ridiculous large nose. He’s smart and seems pretty happy (unless anyone mentions his nose) – until he meets Roxanne (Darryl Hannah), a stunning star-gazer who is looking for a smart man, but she falls in lust with a handsome newcomer, Chris (Rick Rossovich). Chris likes her, but is nervy and gets tongue-tied whenever she is around. So, Chris makes a deal to woo Roxanne with CD’s words.

It’s such an insulting story – but it is a classic. Man can’t deal with woman’s beauty, man assumes women is too shallow to be attracted with a physical flaw, and so much deal with having a vicarious relationship through a third, more physically attractive person. Really it is all about communication. But, as I say, it is a classic. I think my favourite film version of this is The Truth About Cats and Dogs, but Roxanne is a close second. Oh, and there is some marvellous slapstick around the hopeless fire department. It’s extremely insulting to anyone who works in a fire department, given that they are people who do some of the most dangerous, most physically challenging work and they need a lot of brains as well as brawn.


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