Genre Grandeur – Roxanne (1987) – MovieRob (Encore Review)


deriviativeFor this month’s first review for Genre Grandeur – Derivative Work Films, here’s a review of Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) by SG of Rhyme and Reason.

Thanks again to Summer of Serendipitous Anachronisms for choosing this month’s very unique genre.

Here’s Summer to explain her choice:

Basically it is anything based or inspired by pre-existing source

for example:

Amelie takes its relationships from the Luncheon of the Boating Party

The Magnificent Seven is borrowed from the Seven Samurai

Sunday in the Park with George is based on painting by George Seurat

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is loosely based on Hamlet

My Own Private Idaho borrows from Henry the IV

Cosi is about a director directing the musical Cosi Fan Tutti

Pride Prejudice and Zombies borrows from Pride and Prejudice

Clueless borrows from the novel Emma

Monty Python and the Holy Grail borrows from the Arthurian Legend

Basically a film that borrows from pre-existing source but reinvents the source material into something else

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Jordan of Epileptic Moondancer.  He has chosen a genre that is well out of my own comfort zone but I am up for the challenge.  We will be reviewing our favorite Foreign Language Films From 2013-Present.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of July by sending them to foreignjordan@movierob.net  Try to think out of the box! Great choice Jordan!

Let’s see what I thought of this movie:

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roxanne“When you’re reaching for a star, there’s a long way to fall. ” – C.D. Bales

Number of Times Seen – too many to count (Cable in the 80’s and 90’s, video, DVD, 6 Nov 2013 and 21 Jun 2016)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A local fire chief battles fires and love as he tries to help a coworker win the heart of a visiting beauty. The only problem is the fact that he is infatuated by the same woman.

My Take on it – When Summer told me her idea for this month’s genre, I was a bit caught by surprise and wasn’t sure which movie I would choose to be my favorite among the genre because it’s such a unique one.

Then one day it hit me that the perfect film that would fit into this genre (hopefully I’m right) was Roxanne because it takes a previous work and transports the characters to a new place and time and modernizes the whole idea of the original story.

This is Steve Martin’s masterpiece from start to finish.

He took the idea and ran with it and in the process transformed himself from a wacky comedian into a serious actor who has great comic timing.

Some of his other popular movies would probably never have been offered to him if he hadn’t shown his talent here.

Where would we be if he never starred in Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) or in Parenthood (1989) where he was also perfectly cast as the lead?

He personally wrote the script for this film and did an amazing job of adapting it for the modern audience.

To me, this IS the story of Cyrano because it spoke so much clearer to me than the original ever did despite it also being very good.

The story mixes romance, love and humor to give us a great story that isn’t boring in the least.

I’ve never been a big fan of Daryl Hannah, but she and Martin have such great chemistry together in this film that you can actually feel their love and friendship throughout. This is probably her best work too IMHO.

The supporting cast was also chosen exceptionally well and each of the characters have their own unique quirks that work so well giving the town a flavor of diverse personalities.; My favorites are Fred Willard, Michael J. Pollard and John Kapelos.

The script is filled with wit, humor, romance and lots of fun zingers and is balanced quite well between it all.

The best scene (and most famous)  is by far the insults scene, but the whole film has so much more to offer besides that.

I wish more films were made like this one…

Bottom Line – Martin’s best work IMHO because he created the characters and wrote the script almost perfectly. Adeptly updates the story of Cyrano de Bergerac for modern times mixing romance and humor so well for all to enjoy. Never been a fan of Hannah, but I think this is one of her best roles.  She and Martin have unbelievable chemistry as Roxanne and C.D.  Love the supporting cast because they add so much diverse flavor to the town especially Pollard, Willard and Kapelos.  Script is filled with proper wit, humor and romance and it manages to balance it all so well.  Best scene most definitely the insult bet scene, but this movie has so much to offer besides that. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Steve Martin was a driving creative force behind ‘Roxanne’, as both writer and star of the comedy. Martin’s inventive comic mind was turned loose as he undertook the considerable challenge of creating a 1980s comedic hero based on the witty work of playwright Edmond Rostand. Martin remembered: “I was about twelve years old when I first saw the play ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ and I found it to be very compelling. I kept thinking about it; the story and structure are flawless; the play is moving, beautiful and funny. About four years ago, I started thinking that it also has everything you could want in a movie romance, high comedy and a great story. It seemed a perfect vehicle for me to update. But the play is very, very 11th Century, especially in the joke department. And there are lots of swords, lights, and monasteries, you know, things that don’t really function much in our lives anymore”. So Martin adapted the classic, retaining the triangle dilemma, but moving the story to a modern-day trendy ski resort town. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)

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8 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – Roxanne (1987) – MovieRob (Encore Review)

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