The script is a clever update of the classic,
17th century French play, "Cyrano de Bergerac." The basic story takes
place in the small Colorado town of Nelson and involves the fire chief, Charlie
"C.D." Bales, who was blessed with a huge nose and has learned to live
with his abnormality, making a good life for himself. His wit, verbal ability
and a can do attitude have allowed him to go far in all areas except his love
life. This time when he falls for the beautiful Roxanne, he hopes that this time
it might be different for him, or at the very least his letters will bring happiness
for two people he likes.
first meets Roxanne when she accidentally locks herself out of her rented house.
Being naked, she has to hide in the bushes outside the firehouse while she asks
Bales for help. After a funny sequence, Bales opens her house for her, and they
become friends, as she appreciates his great personality, his wit and his smarts.
While he would like it to be more than a friendship, he instinctively knows that
she would never be able to get past his long nose.
having a difficult time with women because of his looks, he does have other annoyances.
His fire department is manned by 7 volunteer firemen, not exactly a crack squad.
Luckily, there aren't many fires, just things like cats stuck in trees.
a very good-looking fireman by the name of Chris McConnell (Rick Rossovich) comes
on board, his department improves, but the hunky Chris complicates things when
he and Roxanne are physically attracted to each other. Roxanne asks Charlie to
help her meet Chris. But, because Chris is terrified to talk to her, Chris asks
Charlie to help him write to her. Wanting Roxanne to be happy, Charlie is inspired
by his own love for Roxanne and writes 3 beautiful love letters to her, signing
Chris's name. However, Chris can't live up to Roxanne's high expectations, because
everything that comes out of his mouth in her presence is either vulgar or not
understandable. Chris decides to run off with a cute waitress, a woman who doesn't
make him nervous. Will Roxanne see who really loves her?
Martin is a delight as the kind-hearted, Charles Bales, the competent romantic
fire chief with the impossibly long nose. Martin has the physical grace of the
best of the silent comedians, playing a character it's impossible to not like.
In between the poignant moments, Martin has some hilarious comedic bits as well.
Don't miss the bar scene. When a tough guy mocks his big nose, Martin chides him
for lacking verbal imagination. He gets the bully to throw a dart at the dart
board, and whatever number the dart lands on, is the number of jokes Bales will
tell about his big nose. Charles has the place in stitches as he comes up with
20 funny one liners!
Daryl Hannah is
luminous in her portrayal of Roxanne Kowalski, an astronomy student on the verge
of discovering a new comet, and a hard to see love of her life.
fine direction was by talented director Fred Schepisi, who also directed such
comedic films as "IQ," "The Last Orders," "Six Degrees
of Separation," and "Fierce Creatures."
Martin and Edmond Rostand did a terrific job on the script, that is a very funny,
entertaining, and touching; a well-done humorous romance, that has many classic
scenes, such as the tennis racquet fight sequence. Two guys try to bully and make
fun of Bales' nose while Bales is on his way to the tennis courts. Having to deal
with bullies all his life because of his nose, this hysterical sequence shows
Bales fighting with much aplomb, and defeating them like he is playing a tennis
game, in a very creative way.
film is rated P.G. , and is a great film to watch with the family, with two reservations.
There are two instances of implied unmarried sex, because of feelings of love.
Nothing is shown, but in one instance, it is briefly talked about. It does have
some valuable things to say about being different, having unusual characteristics,
and that beauty is only skin deep. What is inside a person is the lasting quality
that is the most important.
"I am in orbit around you."