Great trailers for forgotten movies: 1987's 'Roxanne'
Building on the seeming indifference '80s Nation gave to the start of my "Bad Trailers for Great Movies" series the other day, today I give you the slightly more optimistic "Great Trailers for Forgotten Movies" debut.
Why all the weirdness when it comes to movie trailers? Because Hollywood was hit-and-miss with trailers in the '80s. But apparently, by 1987, they were getting it right with this one from Roxanne, the rom-com that starred Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah.
Those in the know recognize its plot as a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand's 1897 play about a noble man with a big nose and a big heart to go along with it. In 1987, it's Steve Martin's turn to play Cyrano, this time as a fire chief who falls for the brainy and beautiful Roxanne (Hannah). Rick Rossovich, fresh off his role as "Slider" in Top Gun, plays the tongue-tied muscle-head who seduces Hannah with the prose of Martin.
Critics were generally pleased with Roxanne; it maintains a healthy 89 percent "fresh rating" on Rotten Tomatoes. The trailer aptly captures the sweet nature of the film while not giving away all the choice punchlines.
And yet, I get the feeling Roxanne doesn't get the appreciation these days that it deserves. Was it because a comedy about adults seemed out of place to the '80s generation, still coping with the challenges of high school and college? Was it that the plot seemed too recycled or old-fashioned? Or did we find it hard to recognize Martin in a role that was more fully formed and less slapstick than his previous work that decade?
It's definitely a movie that should be name-checked and quoted more. The line "Oh, ho, ho, irony! Oh, no, no, we don't get that here. See, people ski topless here while smoking dope, so irony's not really a high priority" is a weighty quote but certainly deserves a test-drive once a week. If not that then certainly "It's not the size of the nose but what's IN it that counts!"