Roxanne - Movie Review


Roxanne - Movie Review

Roxanne - 9/10

The 1987 movie starring Steve Martin and Darryl Hannah is, for lack of better words, a great movie. Based on the play Cyrano De Bergerac. The movie finds Martin as the smart, sophisticated fire marshall C.D. "Charlie" Bales,  while Rick Rossovich plays his co-worker and a man that has no talent for words. Darryl Hannah plays the love interest of Rick and ultimately, Martin, but it takes time for Hannah to figure out that the person she loves isn't the meaty bo-hunk Rossovich, but the wordsmith that's behind him.

Continuing his streak of inventive comedies and leaving behind the "wild and crazy guy" routine, Martin's strength isn't in his ability to be whacky. It's his ability to as an actor to combine not only his comic genius, but his excellent acting ability. Martin's string of hits through out the 80's shows his growth as an actor. Starting with The Jerk and moving forward until Planes, Trains and Automobiles, he is one of the few actors that we watched as he grew into this character on screen we know as "Steve Martin, actor".

Starting with "Roxanne", this movie shows Martin's ability to branch out and show us what he's capable of emotionally. Picking a remake of Cyrano de Bergerac was a stroke of genius. Not many can remake a classic piece of film (and literature) and have it come off as a hit movie with great character development and interesting and fun characters as well. Shelly Duval, Rick Rossovich, Darryl Hannah and a host of others are all competent and excellent in their roles. But, it's Martin that steals the show, as he should. Playing the titular "de Bergerac". Anyone else doing this movie would come off as farcical or even just plain bad.

The unexpected part of the movie is the fact that Martin's character "C.D." is not only humble, but is a stand up man as well. He doesn't take lightly to people talking about his nose and, in fact, will try to instigate matters if he believes that people are trying to make fun of his odd probiscis. As with the scene where Martin confronts a jerk that won't let up with the nose jokes, so Martin does what he does best and adds his own jokes to the mix, before taking the guy out, which is unexpected. It's refreshing to see Martin playing a role that's outside of his comfort zone.

We all know the story, man finds girl, prettier man gets the girl, but in the end, man gets the girl back. Darryl Hannah as Roxanne is the love interest, who is enamored with Chris (Rick Rossovich) because he is good looking and woo's her with his words. It's Charlies words that she loves and when she finds out that Chris is just another pretty face, she wants nothing to do with him. She finds out that Charlie is what she wants and, of course, they end up together. As basic as the plot sounds, the movie is put together very well. The characters are interesting, the story is funny and moves along at a nice pace and it's not hampered by stupid whacky jokes that are the bane of most modern comedies. The movie was written by Steve Martin and it shows how he has also grown as a writer. This is a smart movie and it should not be missed.

Roxanne (1987)
PG | 1h 47min | Comedy, Romance | 19 June 1987 (USA)

Based on the play "Cyrano de Bergerac", large nosed C.D. Bales falls for the beautiful Roxanne while she falls for his personality but another man's looks.
Director: Fred Schepisi
Writers: Edmond Rostand (play), Steve Martin (screenplay)
Stars: Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Rick Rossovich