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I am usually comforted by the 80s feel good aesthetic no matter how bad the flick actually is. I guess that has something to do with my birth year. The cozy setting also contributes to the overall agreeable texture of Roxanne. I love small town Americana, especially if there are mountains in the background covered with pine trees.
Other than that, this is an extremely dorky/quirky/strange movie that in most people's eyes probably doesn't hold up too well today. The opening fight scene alone is more cringe than I normally permit for a single production.
In my opinion, the eccentricity of the characters and their actions doesn't work. I do believe there is a way to properly do 80s whimsical (see: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Raizing Arizona, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, etc.) but Roxanne misses the mark much in the same way Heathers does.
A lighthearted and underrated flick. I don't remember that much of the film after about 10 years, but 20 better insults? Terrific!
Steve Martin's Roxanne is not Cyrano de Bergerac. It can't be. It's a charming romcom with lots of background gags you'll come to appreciate more on subsequent viewings, and for fans of Rostand's play, it's actually pretty clever in the way it winks at it (the whole astronomy thing, for example). Not being in rhyme, it needs must lose a couple of key scenes that are, to me, crucial to one's enjoyment of Cyrano. The first is the improvised ballad, and the other is Christian throwing nose puns at Cyrano. The latter they might have salvaged, but Rick Rossovich's Chris isn't nearly as clever as his theatrical homologue. In fact, he's a big doofus, and responsible for some laughs. If Roxanne is sweet and amusing, it's still a romcom, with a romcom ending. A more noble Chris could have died fighting a fire, Roxanne could have stayed in town in his memory, she could have discovered the real voice in the night was Charlie on the day he himself dies fighting a fire. And I think the film builds enough good will for audiences to accept it - there wouldn't have been a dry eye in the house. They pushed the comedy instead, and that's fine. It's still sweet, amusing, and somewhat romantic. It just can't be Cyrano de Bergerac.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #72 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions
This movie ranks #73 in Paste's The 100 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time