This rerelease from Eureka Entertainment of Fred Schepisi’s 1987 adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac, opens strongly with Steve Martin playing fire chief the station in a small ski town.
The character that Steve Martin plays is a much loved member of this community who happens to have a very large nose and is very sensitive about this. He becomes smitten with Daryl Hannah’s title character, she’s an astronomy graduate student renting a house for the summer searching for a new comet.
A friendship develops but Bales is smitten by her, sadly she’s only got eyes for new in town himbo fireman Chris played by Top Gun’s Rick Rossovich. This sets up a series of sequences where Chris has the fire chief playing Jimney Cricket putting his romantic longing of her through the voice of someone who more physically appeals to Roxanne sadly things don’t go as planned in this love triangle.
The lead performance by Steve Martin has him playing to hisstrengths particularly in the grandstanding moments such as the scene where he comes up with twenty better put downs for his large beak in a front of a full audience hanging on his every word which is rounded off with some comedic violence.
Female lead Hannah is likeable, but she lacks real screen presence that convinces as the woman that all the men in this ski town would go weak at the knees whenever she walks down the street. The other female characters are developed and more appealing; from Shelley Duvall’s sounding board for his romantic feelings about Roxanne to Shandra Beri’s Bar girl who dreams of seeing the world.
While the film is greatly served by supporting roles for Oscar winner Michael J Pollard doing his quirky shtick, Best in Show’s Fred Willard as the town’s mayor/fireman who dresses like Don Johnson in Miami Vice and Rossovich’s character bringing real humour to his performances for an actor normally perceived to be the good looking guy who can’t act.
Roxanne directed by Australian Fred Schepisi is competently helmed, telling a simple rom-com that’s wrapped around classical storytelling with assured cinematography from Ian Baker who knows how to photograph the beauty of this Ski town. This is first time that Roxanne has gotten a UK Blu Ray Release and has been given a clear transfer. But its a fun, forgettable watch that doesn’t sadly have the appeal other 80’s Steve Martin movies have such as All of Me, The Man With Two Brains or Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Dir: Fred Schepisi
Scr: Steve Martin
Prd: Michael I. Rachmil, Daniel Melnick
Cast: Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Shelley Duvall, Rick Rossovich, Fred Willard, Michael J. Pollard
D.O.P: Ian Baker
Edit: John Scott
Music: Bruce Smeaton
Run time: 107 minutes
Roxanne available on DVD and Blu-ray now.