by David C. Terr
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Director: Fred Schepisi
Starring: Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Rick Rossovich, Shelley Duvall
Release Date: June 19, 1987
Running Time: 107 min
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Roxanne is a hilarious comedy starring Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah. It is a modern day spoof on the 1897 play "Cyrano de Bergerac" by French author Edmond Rostand. Steve Martin's acting is superb in this one, both for his comic and serious roles.
C.D. Bales (Martin) is the fire chief of a small Colorado town, who has an incredibly long nose, and Roxanne Kowalshi is a beautiful woman Bales is in love with but who doesn't love him, at least at first, because of his big nose. Instead, she's infatuated with Chris (Rossovich), a handsome but dull fireman. Since Chris doesn't know what to say to her, C.D. writes love letters to Roxanne in Chris' name while she's away. When she returns, C.D. rigs up a walkie-talkie so that he can tell Chris what to say to her when he's with her. Not knowing C.D. is helping him out, Roxanne falls in love with Chris, until she learns that he's not genuine. Eventually she comes to fall in love with C.D.
I think Roxanne is one of Steve Martin's funniest movies. Here are some of my favorite scenes:
- At a bar, a man insults C.D., telling him he has a big nose. C.D. asks him if that's the best he can do towards insulting him, to which the man challenges him to do better. C.D. comes up with 20 superior insults of all sorts to the delight of everyone else at the bar.
- While C.D. is dictating responses to Chris, his walkie-talkie receives interference from the fire department, whence Chris inadvertently repeats some of their responses. He's forced to improvise a few times, at one point quoting a line from a Carpenters' song in an effort to be romantic.
- C.D. manages to find a fire by sniffing with his large, powerful nose.