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In 1987, almost a hundred years after its first production, the romantic story of Cyrano de Bergerac found new life in a winsome film written by Steve Martin. Roxanne updates the tale with a smart '80s spin, yet writer-star Martin stays close to the old-fashioned heart of the matter. He plays a small-town firefighter named C.D. Bales, whose otherwise unremarkable existence is crowned by an amazingly long nose. He falls for the world's most beautiful astronomer (Daryl Hannah), but he is embarrassed by the size of his proboscis and prefers to stay on the sidelines. Like Cyrano, the shy C.D. instead helps a handsome friend (Rick Rossovich) woo the fair lady by providing flowery sentiments and soulful poetry. Not only does the story still work, but Australian director Fred Schepisi captures a dreamy grace in his visual design for the film (some of which will be lost without the widescreen format). Set in Washington State, but filmed in the hilly ski resort of Nelson, British Columbia, the location seems like a fairy-tale town, nearly as unreal as Steve Martin's nose. --Robert Horton
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