In the tradition of American Beauty
, acclaimed director Alan Rudolph (Afterglow
) has fashioned a profoundly moving portrait of the modern family, expertly blending drama, humor and suspense in what Rolling Stone
magazine calls "a remarkable film."
Dr. Dave Hurst (Campbell Scott) seems content with his wife Dana (Hope Davis), his three daughters, and a thriving dental practice shared with his beloved spouse. But when Dave glimpses Dana in the arms of another man, he begins entertaining dangerous fantasies, both sexual and violent. Spurred on by a menacing alter ego (Denis Leary), Dave is forced to confront his repressed anger and resentment or lose everything he holds dear.
The passion of oral surgeons is the unlikely subject of The Secret Lives of Dentists
, Alan Rudolph's keenly observed comedy-drama. Campbell Scott and Hope Davis, dentists both, have three kids and a pleasant life. Pleasant, but not exciting. When Scott realizes his wife is having an affair on the side, he's torn between caution and an outrageous inner voice urging drastic action. That voice is personified by Denis Leary, who pops up with unwelcome advice, like a nattering ghost; needless to say, the role is a perfect fit for Leary's hostile persona. The blend of everyday realities--especially a hilariously miserable five-day siege with stomach flu--and Leary's surreal presence makes for a typically offbeat Rudolph offering. The smart script, after a Jane Smiley story, is by Craig Lucas. Indie stalwarts Scott and Davis both do subtle work--they're as careful and scrupulous as the dentists they portray. --Robert Horton