The classic story of Cyrano De Bergerac gets updated to the 80s in this classic story that raises the romantic comedy to new heights. With special guest, Krissie! (Anne Stuart, also known as Kristina Douglas.) A feel-good film viewed in great company – what could be better? Get the podcast: Listen here at PopD | Go to iTunes
Story Analysis & Ratings:
Lucy says: 5 Pops ~ Lucy’s rating breakdown: Structure: 5, Comedy: 5, Romance: 5
Jenny says: 5 Pops ~ Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 5, Comedy: 5, Romance: 5
Krissie says: 5 Pops ~ Krissie’s rating breakdown: Structure: 5, Comedy: 5, Romance:
Blog Poll Rating: TBD
Release Date: June 19, 1987 Director: Fred Schepisi Writers: Edmond Rostand (play), Steve Martin (screenplay). More info at IMDb.
7 responses to “Ep 23: Roxanne”
If there is a moment where I’m slightly taken out of the story its at the beginning during the meet cute when he goes right on in to her house and starts making himself comfortable in her kitchen while she changes.
To me, as a single woman living alone, its a bit off putting. However, my take on it was that it’s the 80’s in a small town. There’s clearly not meant to be a sense of menace. And I think that moment would be slightly different if filmed today.
But that’s about it.
He was already in the house to let her in, so I was good with that part. But yeah the cheese and fruit plate was kind of pushy.
I have always loved this movie, and am so happy to see the three of you gave it full pops!
I think I have the same problems with this movie that I have with the original Cyrano too.
(a) Cyrano/Charlie is absolutely made of awesome and i adore him. I especially adore a guy who makes all the jokes first. However, I do kind of think that he mostly doesn’t act like a guy who’s crippled by his unattractive nose. Mostly I suspect that in real life he’d have chicks hanging all over him, nose or no, and we’re just kind of “told” that women find him unattractive. Me, if I could figure out the kissing logistics, it’s all good. (And it’s so cute that a bird can perch on his nose.) The big nose thing would probably be a bigger deal if you’re a girl than it is if you’re a guy, so maybe I just read it from that angle. I haven’t seen Penelope, or whatever that movie is where the girl has a pig snout, but that might be an interesting comparison there.
(b) However, once Chris/tian comes on the scene, the story starts to fizzle for me because Chris is such a damn nice-but-boring-and-lame buzzkill. He kind of ruins the awesome for me every time he’s sucking time on the screen. Though I will say that this movie improves the situation by giving Chris a girl that’s more his speed to be interested in/is interested in him. It perked things up some.
Cyrano is just an odd story, period. I think the concept is more successful than the actual book, the idea of the perfect man being beautiful and smart/sensitive, and two men having to combine to make that perfection. The gender reversal is The Truth About Cats and Dogs, where the love interest goes to a radio station to meet a woman he knows only by her voice and by accident meets a tall beautiful blonde (Uma Thurman) instead of the real short cute brunette (Janeane Garafalo). Abby, the brunette, doesn’t have the confidence to tell him the truth, so she lets him think that the her blonde pal is the real Abby. It’s actually more far-fetched than Cyrano, but it’s the same plot.
I think Roxanne handles the concept more successfully than Cyrano or TTAC&D. There’s nothing in Roxanne’s personality that says she wouldn’t be attracted to CD if he’d started courting her, but he’s too unsure of himself and then she sees Chris and tells him she’s in love. It’s dumb to fall in love with a pretty face but that’s human nature for you. So Charlie talks to her from under the trees and gets Chris into bed with her where they don’t talk, and then Roxanne leaves town and only knows Chris through the letters that Charlie sends her. None of that is implausible to me. When she finds out the truth, she doesn’t reject Charlie because of his nose, she rejects him because he’s made a fool of her and she’s mad as hell, which I find completely believable. I’d kill him. Then she calms down and realizes that the guy she loves is the guy who wrote the letters, and she goes right out and tells him. I think the only reason she talks about his nose is that she realizes that that’s the stumbling block for him, not her, that he’s given up on romance because no woman could ever fall in love with that nose (he says that flat out in the movie). I know beautiful people who think they’re unlovable because of ridiculously minor flaws so Charlie’s sensitivity about his nose, while exaggerated, also rings psychologically true, especially since the beginning of the movie goes out of the way to show how people over-react to it (the stoners he has the fight with, Roxanne’s saying “cheese with your nose” instead of “cheese with your wine,” and then later the bully who picks a fight with him by taunting him about his nose).
So while I agree with you that the whole “a big nose makes you unlovable” bit is unrealistic, I think this movie does a good job of making it plausible because it puts most of the problem in Charlie’s head. It’s never a barrier to Roxanne.
Oh, and I meant to add that I love Chris in this movie because the script goes so far to make him a nice guy and to show his vulnerability; he’s as self-conscious as Charlie or even more so. He really is Charlie’s opposite number: two men who are paralyzed around women because of their low self-esteem even though they’re both great guys. My favorite bit from Chris is his agonized of cry of “Don’t say that!” when Roxanne tells him she’d love him even if he was ugly because she’s taking away the only thing he thinks he has going for him. When Stacy laughs at his jokes (even though he’s not making any) and thinks he’s wonderful, he blossoms right there at the bar. It’s lovely.
I do love this movie. It makes me laugh and somehow I forget the weird stuff that otherwise would pull me out of the story. It’s a ‘go to’ movie at our house!!