Steve Martin’s endearing romantic comedy Roxanne sees his nice-guy fire chief try to help a hapless colleague win a girl’s heart only to fall in love with her himself. A amusing tale of mistaken identify ensues.
New to Blu-Ray comes the Steve Martin romantic comedy classic Roxanne made in 1987. Based on the play “Cyrano De Bergerac”, large-nosed fireman C.D Bales (Martin) falls for the new girl in town, the beautiful Roxanne (Daryl Hannah). However, his Pinocchio sized schnozz impedes his quest for love as Roxanne falls for his letters who she thinks are from Bales’ colleague Chris (Rick Rossovich) who is not weighed down by an extraordinary nasal appendage.
This film is clearly a Stave Martin vehicle as his unique blend of pathos and warmth steals the film along with his trademark brilliant comic timing. This seemed to be the first film that showed Martin as more than the zany and crazy guy, this was his first demonstration that he could deliver a truly heart-warming performance as well. Darryl Hannah and the rest of the cast are efficient but there is no doubt this is Martin’s film. Hannah is reliable as the sweet and gentle romantic aspiration of our leading man, but like the rest of the cast overshadowed by Martin.
The film does feel dated now as the romantic contrivance doesn’t feel fresh but it’s the journey not the destination that provides the film’s central charm. The main reason this film generates perhaps over-deserved nostalgic “classic” status is down to one scene.
This is the scene where Bales has learned to turn his handicap into comedy. When a man insults him at a bar he counters with 20 more insults, all of them funnier than the previous. This had me in fits of laughter and is clearly the comic highlight of the film. The rest of the film is more about his heart than his funny bones as he knows how to deal with his nose but not how to feel about it especially when faced with the arrival of Roxanne into his life. The rest of the film is full of smaller but still funny moments.
The film does feel “of its time”, especially the 80s soundtrack and extremely sappy storyline. I can understand why it is remembered so fondly and I have re-watched the insult scene a number of times, but I wouldn’t label it a classic like other films released around the same time such as Ghostbusters and Caddyshack.
Written by Lyndon Wells
Directed by: Fred Schepisi
Written by: Steve Martin
Starring: Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Shelley Duvall, Rick Rossovich, Fred Willard, Michael J. Pollard
Released: 1987 | Genre: Comedy
Country: USA | IMDB
Top 10 Films reviewed Roxanne on Blu-ray courtesy of Eureka Entertainment which released the film on dual format DVD/Blu-ray in the UK on November 21, 2016.