Novocaine: Film #18 of Film 365

Tuesday 5th April 2011

Director: David Atkins
Year: 2001
Stars: Steve Martin, Laura Dern, Helena Bonham Carter, Elias Koteas

If I told you about this film, and you love black comedy, you'd think this film sounds amazing. It has all the ingredients of a perfect black comedy: murder, intrigue, infidelity, a dentist...

Novocaine follows Dr Frank Sangster (Martin) as he meets an attractive young woman (Bonham Carter) in his surgery, and quickly gets caught up in a range of bizarre situations.

This film should be amazing. But it's not - and I don't know why. Somehow all those black situations that should make me laugh out loud just left me cold. Maybe the deadpan is too deadpan? Or not deadpan enough? None of the actors do anything wrong, specifically - but the film as a whole just felt dull. Instead of laughing at funny black comedy I simply tittered a couple of times. Although I did quite like the scissors through the hand.


Rating: 2 out of 5 (that's for the ideas, not the execution)

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.