Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, Laura Dern, Scott Caan, Kevin Bacon
Widescreen; closed caption; Spanish subtitles; commentary by director David Atkins; featurette "The Making of Novocaine"; special documentary "Bitten"; soundtrack and score; theatrical trailer.
|Icon-of-wackiness Steve Martin ("Bowfinger") plays it straighter than usual in this noir-ish, chaotic dark comedy, even if his character successful, emotionally repressed dentist Frank Sangster spends most of the film getting bent by circumstance, temptation and his own newly unleashed appetites. Comfortably numb in their suburban Midwest enclave, Frank and his clean-freak dental-hygienist fiancée (Laura Dern of "Wild at Heart") get their uneventful lives rattled when a sexy new patient, played by Helena Bonham Carter ("Planet of the Apes"), seduces the dentist during an after-hours appointment. The wanton woman has an agenda and a hotheaded brother (Scott Caan), who is volatile to the point of dangerous psychosis. Before long, Frank is embroiled in a drug scam that will jeopardize his career, marriage plans and health. The cast, especially Carter, is up to first-time writer/director David Atkins' clutter of tones. Still, the whole deal doesn't quite congeal. With Kevin Bacon in a jocular cameo role.|