Critic Consensus: The quirky Novocaine flirts with both dark comedy and noir suspense, but the result is a jarring mix of tones which never quite mesh.
In this darkly comic film noir from writer/director David Atkins, Steve Martin revisits dentistry -- an occupation he'd explored 15 years prior, in the camp musical Little Shop of Horrors. Novocaine casts Martin as a much more mild-mannered D.D.S., Dr. Frank Sangster. Engaged to a prim and delicate hygienist, Jean (Laura Dern), Sangster leads a placid, upper-middle class existence, save for the occasional visit from his deadbeat artist brother Harlan (Elias Koteas). But Sangster finds his life turned inside out from the moment the alluring Susan (Helena Bonham Carter) plops down in his reclining vinyl chair: Complaining about her molars, she's really more interested in the refrigerator of narcotics the good dentist keeps on hand for his patients in pain. Once they manage to get Sangster's guard down, Susan and her brother (Scott Caan) rob him blind -- and worse yet, frame him for the theft. When a dead body turns up in Sangster's sleek suburban home, he finds that clearing his name will be a difficult proposition indeed. Novocaine marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Atkins, who first made his mark with the script for Emir Kusturica's oddball cult favorite Arizona Dream (1993). … More
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as Dr. Frank Sangster
as Susan Ivey
as Jean Noble
as Harlan Sangster
as Hip movie star [uncr...
as Wayne Ponze
as `Sunshine Lounge' Ba...
as Attractive Complaini...
as Mrs. Langston
as "Blue Sands" Bartend...
as Chinese Wife
as Chinese Husband
as Liquor Store Owner
as `Blue Sands' Bartend...
as Detective Lily Pons
as Motel Security Guard
as Motel Security Guard
as Officer Peter Reilly
as Officer Chuck Smith
as Skinny Sheriff
as Visiting Room Guard
as Court guard
as Trooper Jarvis
as Trooper Bunch
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Critic Reviews for Novocaine
The casting is peculiar, the tone is off, the plot is uninteresting and the ending is sorry.
Plays like the sort of silly shared fantasy that a group of dental students might come up with late one night, after too much coffee and cramming for finals.
A coarse, witless and stunningly violent black comedy.
Audience Reviews for Novocaine
Martin took a chance in being in this little known, little seen, conspiracy thriller. It has an interesting concept and the plot is definitely worth following, but the ultimate villain isn't all that impressive or frightening. What makes this film especially unseemly has to be its reliance on black humor, which comes off less funny and more grotesque. There's this scene near the end that is so disgusting and gross that I don't even want to think about it, and that quickly veers it away from being interesting gumshoe mystery and into weird existential quandary. If the ending were a little less slovenly this film would probably be lauded for its intricate story and the great performance from Helena Bonham Carter as the drug dealer's (Caan) sister and the seductress of the dentist (Martin). Martin feels misplaced in the film, mostly because we're used to either subdued serious performances or out of control wackiness in comedies. It's just a little too all over the place to make it as memorable as it should be.
This has been a quite entertaining movie. Not really a top notch movie, not really working as a comedy, but still pretty entertaining. It started out veeery slow and boooring - it took a little too long for it to evolve. But when it started to it got better and better. There's that very freaky story and a wrecked Bonham-Carter (she's good playin such characters ;-) adding most to this film. However the ending was a little too fantastic since it shouldn't be a problem for the forensics to ... no, I won't spoil hehe.
My favourite scene was Martin's call where he spoke to that guy who answered the phone with "barbie's bakery. it's mr. muffin man speakin." LOL
My overall rating is: 6.5/10 - if you're not sure what to watch, try this one. It works pretty well as entertainment
While I'm not going to say I'd defend this movie to the death, I will say that if you like Steve Martin, you might be willing to see everything he tries. This like, say, The Spanish Prisoner , is something different for Martin, and while it is not an entirely successful movie, it is not unwatchable. Big points to Carter and Laura Dern for enhancing the experience with memorable characters. The ending is a bit much, it's true, but the story of lies compiling and coming back to bite you is told in an unusual, sometimes surprising and sometimes entertaining way.
|Jean Noble:||I've taken care of everybody my whole life, and I am fucking tired! I have organised everything, I have made everything perfect, I made everybody's lives work smoothly and I am tired of being a caretaker CO-DEPENDENT NO MORE! Do you know how hard it is to be perfect? When everybody need you to take care of them? Has anybody ever done that for me? Nobody has ever done that for me, nobody, NOBODY! And you know what? I am tired of everybody else getting all the stuff and me being left out. I wanna be the boss! I wanna be on top! Because I deserve it all! And I'm gonna get it! And if you don't understand that, you really a fucking idiot!|
|Mike:||Barbie's Bakery, it's Mr. Muffin speaking.|
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