Novocaine

Bomb Rating: 

Hey, kids, want to see why smoking is bad and every state in the Union is suing cigarette producers for billions of dollars over health-related costs? Just take one look at Helena Bonham Carter.

Somebody explain to me why, every time Helena Bonham Carter appears on a movie screen, she looks like she's been shooting heroin through her eyelids. Could it be those two packs of cigarettes she smokes a day? Hey, kids, want to see why smoking is bad and every state in the Union is suing cigarette producers for billions of dollars over health-related costs? Just take one look at Helena Bonham Carter. If she doesn't die of lung cancer before the age of 60 I will submit my live body to Philip Morris for experimentation. They can shove lit cigarettes up my ass and force-feed me ashtray sweepings and I'll still be healthier than Helena Bonham Carter.

Apparently, director David Atkins comes from a family of dentists. Unfortunately, this doesn't give him the right to make a movie involving dentistry. Sure, professional screenwriters throughout the world preach that "write what you know" hooey, yet we do not have movies about proctologists committing crimes of passion. Do we?

Nevertheless, Frank Sangster (Steve Martin) is a dentist who is overcome by Susan Ivy (Helena Bonham Carter) even though he recognizes she's a drug addict. When his dental narcotics go missing, he doesn't call the police like any boring, normal dentist who's screwing his long-legged assistant (Laura Dern) would. No, he tries to help Susan so he can screw her, too. Soon, more drugs go missing and dead people start turning up and Frank becomes increasingly embroiled in bad stuff.

This is all supposed to be moderately funny and moderately surprising since, after all, Frank is just a dentist and these sorts of things just don't happen to dentists. Atkins may be trying to dispel a notion that dentists don't have a sense of humor, but in the attempt he's started a new one: dentists don't have the slightest business being the subject of a movie.

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