Roxanne (1987) Film Review

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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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