MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -4

Frank Sangster (Steve Martin) seems to have it all: a thriving dental practice, a beautiful home, and an attractive assistant (Laura Dern) who also happens to be his fiancee. But Frank’s well-ordered life turns upside down when a beautiful young patient (Helena Bonham Carter) seduces him, then steals drugs from his office. Not wanting to get her in trouble, Frank gives her the opportunity to return the drugs, but clashes with her brother who has already sold them. When the brother turns up dead, Frank is arrested as the prime suspect. As he awaits arraignment, Frank uncovers a plot to frame him orchestrated by the person he least expects. His only way out may be an act that will leave anyone with an aversion to dental pain squirming. Fans of Steve Martin expecting one of his normal goof-ball, over-the-top characters will be disappointed at his relatively straight role, but there are a few laughs included in the moderately interesting plot. However, the limited release of this independent production will hinder box office numbers.

In NOVOCAINE, Steve Martin plays a poster-boy for poor decision making. He risks his reputation, his practice, his engagement and his good name for what is basically a one time affair. He has numerous opportunities to confess his wrong and limit the damage, but one lie leads to another. As he finds himself in a downward spiral of destruction, Sangster makes a very radical move to reverse his fall. In the end, the bad guys get their due and it seems that Sangster’s original sin works out to his benefit, which sends a very disconcerting message to impressionable viewers. Four scenes of sexual acts including one with nudity occur, along with frequent sexual dialogue. Frequent obscenities and strong profanities, as well as references and graphic images of drug abuse are gratuitously used. Violence is mostly off-screen but some images strongly and graphically imply gruesome acts. Vulgar language, explicit sexual content, some graphic violence and a misleading message deaden Preview’s response to NOVOCAINE.

Preview Reviewer: John Barber
Artisan Entertainment, 2700 Colorado Ave., Second Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90404

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (15) times - Mild 5, moderate 10

Obscene Language: Many (60) times - F-word 37, s-word 18, other 5

Profanity: Many (24) times – Regular 19 (GD 4, G 2, J 2, C 4, JC 4, Swear to G 2, Jeez); Exclamatory 5 (OMG 3, OG, Good G)

Violence: Many times - Most implied off-screen, some graphic (man bangs another’s head on floor/ breaks bottle over man’s head/ stabs hand with scissors; woman shoots man; man injects self with novocaine then yanks own teeth)

Sex: Several times – graphic images, nudity once (unmarried couple in bed twice; in car; in dental chair)

Nudity: Once (female breast in sex scene); Near Nudity - Several times (woman in underwear; woman in low cut top; man in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (Couple engages in foreplay; reference to brother/ sister incestuous relationship; man films genitals with dental cam; reference to sex in dental chair)

Drugs: Several times (woman forges prescription to get more narcotic/ steals drugs from dental office; man snorts cocaine; cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking)

Other: Man lies to fiancee/ government official; slang term for homosexual

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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