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Novocaine (2001)

Steve Martin , Helena Bonham Carter , David Atkins  |  R |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

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Novocaine + Conversation(s) With Other Women + The Heart of Me
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Product Details

  • Actors: Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, Chelcie Ross, Laura Dern, Lynne Thigpen
  • Directors: David Atkins
  • Writers: David Atkins, Paul Felopulos
  • Producers: Daniel M. Rosenberg, Michele Weisler, Paul Mones
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: April 23, 2002
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000062WWZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,707 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Novocaine" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurette: "The Making of Novocaine"
  • Special documentary: "Bitten"
  • Soundtrack and score

Editorial Reviews

Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, Laura Dern. A successful dentist's life is thrown out of order when he falls for a sexy new patient and her seedy, sordid lifestyle. 2001/color/95 min/R/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars novocaine will keep you guessing September 10, 2001
Just saw Novocaine at the Boston Film Festival. Steve Martin was there in person to accept the 2001 performance award for his role in the film. What a clever black comedy suspense thriller. Steve Martin stars as a dentist who falls in with Helena Bonham Carter, a young girl who uses the dentist to get her prescriptions for painkillers. Laura Dern is Steve's sexy co-worker/fiancee who doesn't realise that her man is off having sex with a druggie. Along the way, Steve Martin's character becomes embroiled in lies, deceit, and murder. A clever and funny film. Trying to figure out who-dun-it and why was never so much fun. **Kevin Bacon is hilarious in his cameo as Lance Phelps. His best performance in years.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Speaking from a dental perspective... December 14, 2001
I am a dental hygienist, although not nearly as obsessive-compulsive and crazy as Laura Dern's Jean Noble. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this film!
A local oral surgeon sponsored a private screening for local dentists and their staff members. In other words, the theater was packed with dental professionals. We had a ball! It played very well to our audience, as the movie was technically very good (dentally speaking). Other dental-type movies have left a lot to be desired in that category!
The movie was indeed a comedy, allbeit a dark comedy. It's the kind of humor where you laugh, but with your hand over your mouth to cover up the fact that your humor is a bit deranged. Although, perhaps I am speaking for myself.
Laura Dern, Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, and Kevin Bacon all turn in super performances. It was a fun ride, and the who-done-it guessing game was much fun!
I recommend this movie, especially to the dental community or anyone who is not squeamish!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ODDBALL SUSPENSE COMEDY, WORTH A WATCH October 19, 2003
Novocaine is labeled as a dark comedy in the reviews here, a conclusion I don't necessarily see from the film. It is nuanced entertainment, you don't expect anything else from a Steve Martin fare, and it does have its quirky elements. But I'd perhaps call it a murder suspense thriller with wit. Just go with the suspension of disbelief, and enjoy the plot twists as the craziness of the "decay" takes its hold. Recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously Dark Comedy February 8, 2002
Taking a cheap shot at your dentist is a cherished and venerable tradition of gallows humor. There is no profession (except maybe lawyering) that takes it on the chin like denistry. Maybe that's why dentists have the highest suicide rate of any profession. David Atkin's feature debut, "Novocaine" is a dark comedy of an annoyingly smug dental practitioner who falls prey to a deliciously amoral femme fatale.
Frank Sangster, played by Steve Martin, is a suburban dentist who has it all: a thriving practice, an attractive blonde dental hygenist/fiance (Laura Dern) and even a television monitor showing a relaxing travelouge of rustic Italy for patients to watch, as he performs root canals on them. Susan Ivey (Helena Bonham Carter) is the girl all of our mothers warned us about. From the moment she slithers into his office seeking percodan for recreational purposes, we know that this woman will cut a path of murder and mayhem across Sangster's thin veneer of respectability. Helena Bonaham Carter takes a break from costume epics and sizzles as the decandent, drug addled Susan. Clearly Bonaham Carter delights in her over-the-top characterization of Susan and is sublimely funny as she cunningly manipulates Steve Martin to do her will. Kevin Bacon is a good actor who has made a lot of bad career decisions. In "Novocaine" he shines as a self-absorbed method actor studying for a police detective role and unwittingly stays one step ahead of actual detectives with his by-the-numbers, Hollywood scripted analysis of the crime.
If you liked the farce "Election" with Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon you will probably love this movie. It's too bad "Novocaine" had such a short run at the art houses but I'm hoping it will find a new life when it is released in the DVD and VHS formats.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steve does Hitchcock November 30, 2001
By "mynad"
Steve Martin's new film is a nice redirection from his overtly comic work (though even when Steve is serious, he's funny). It harkens towards his role in the Spanish Prisoner only he is more the focus in this movie. The entire cast does a great job and the end result is a very entertaining Hitchcockian thriller/black comedy. If you're looking for Parenthood then look somewhere else, if you're looking for a unique and well-executed thriller then this is it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Root canals anyone?............... December 23, 2001
Steve Martin's kind of humor obviously is not for everyone, but he happens to be an intelligent actor who can make seeing a film like this a joy. The only problem is in which direction are we being sent: Is it a film noir? Is it a comedy, or what? But after you settle down, this is a winning film, you won't be sorry you came. The acting is great. Not only is Mr. Martin good, but the rest of the cast, especially, Laura Dern, who's always a pleasure to watch in anything she does. Ms. Bonham-Carter is equally effective, playing as she does in this film, against type. The direction by David Atkins is good, as are the beginning credits, which are a lot of fun to watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome but Good Fun August 30, 2009
Steve Martin and Helena Bonham Carter's outing into comedic film noir in "Novocaine" is not destined to be in the Criterion Collection of great movies. But it is fun to part because I recently discovered that Bonham-Carter and Martin were involved with each other (I don't know whether this was before, during, or after the movie was shot). In any case, the two leads had some chemistry...And since I love Helena Bonham Carter (almost as much as I like Kate Winslet), that made "Novocaine" more than watchable for me.


The plot is simple. Steve Martin plays a dentist who seems to have it all: wealth, respect, the love of a good woman (played by Laura Dern), and a substantial dental practice. But then Helena Bonham Carter's character comes into his life and nothing is much the same after that (and Martin soon learns that the "good life" he was living was largely a tissue of lies). Helena Bonham Carter plays a character who is a very far cry from her period piece characters in "Room with a View," "Wings of a Dove," "Howard's End," etc. For one thing, she plays an American (with a faultless accent). She also plays a character whose appearance and behavior pretty much scream "I'm a bad girl but I've got a heart of gold."

I won't get into the plot machinations except to comment that if you are afraid of dentists and dentistry, this is probably not something you want to see. There is some gore (two murders) as well as one fairly explicit scene where Steve Martin and Helena Bonham Carter get "a little friendly" in the dentist's chair.

But it's all good fun nonetheless and people knocking it for "not being realistic" ought to skip comedies in general because real life seldom is funny...but this movie is...frequently.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Time to OD on your inner fetishes
A wicked oh so true to reality, Martin at his finest
Published 13 days ago by H H HANDS
5.0 out of 5 stars Held my attention.
The plot was great. Surprising outcome.
Published 25 days ago by Burk M. Shea III
2.0 out of 5 stars Sick "comedy"
I'm not sure why it was in the comedy section. It was very dark and sick, in my opinion with a totally unbelievable plot. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Barbara Coe
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Very disapointing and not very entertaining.
Published 1 month ago by Whowasthatmaskedman
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Steve Martin is always good!
Published 1 month ago by susieq
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid story, with believable acting.
A smooth, easy ride. Not fall-down funny, but it wasn't meant to be, either. It's a dark comedy, with a mystery theme. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rod
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice movie. Good for relaxing
Nice movie. Good for relaxing.
Published 1 month ago by Joel Poyatos
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny
Real funny weird movie but it made me's to serious enjoy a chuckle...I'm sick of amazon requiring me to type a certin number of words going to stop reviewing
Published 2 months ago by CINDAZZLE
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Steve Martin..
Mr. Martin is at his best in this spoof of film noir. If you enjoy the subtle humor of Mr. Martin, you will enjoy this film.
Published 3 months ago by Mary Shanahan
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the show
Somewhat odd seeing Steve Martin in a serious part. The movie was a web of deceit, and clearly lessons could be learned by the viewer. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bluerooster
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