Ever wonder about the secret lives of
dentists? Well, wonder no more! It's dull! That's not
to say the film is dull, though, but the portrayal of the lives of the
two principal characters (who are both dentists) is certainly less
interesting than root canal.
This film stars Campbell Scott (The Spanish Prisoner) and Hope
Davis (the daughter in About Schmidt, and the French airline
agent in Home Alone) as two married dentists. They're
married (to each other) and they practice dentistry. They have
Denis Leary is also in the film. He is not a dentist. He
does, however, have bad teeth. His role is difficult to describe
without getting into too many of the details, and we wouldn't want to
destroy the "secret" of these dentists, now would we? Oh, but then
you might read this paragraph and be inadvertently intrigued by the
film. "Ooh, the Masked Reviewer made a subtle hint about Denis
Leary's role in the big secret of the film...he's not a
dentist...or...is he? Who knows? Now I've GOT to see this
movie!" you may say to yourself. But don't.
The Secret Lives of Dentists is an odd movie. The film
revolves around the ordinary lives of dentists, which is not
particularly interesting. Raising kids, going to the summer home,
going to work, talking, doing dishes. Surprisingly, the every day
stuff is more compelling at many times than the "secret" stuff.
The secret stuff has a lot of wacky elements with dreams and imaginary
At times, the film tries to be funny. At other times, it tries
to be serious. It's never clear whether this film is a comedy or a
drama. The comedy is never really funny and the drama is never
really dramatic. A lot of the clever plot devices used in the film
aren't very well thought out, and feel tacked on. The viewer can't
help but wonder what's going on, but more importantly, the viewer can't
be made to care about what's going on. The characters aren't very
engaging or particularly likeable. They're not dislikeable enough
for you to hate them, they're just sort of there. It's almost more
like a weird reality show.
Things move slowly in the film, and it drags. The 105 minute
running time feels long enough that your teeth begin to rot, even
without Milk Duds (tm).
On the other hand, if you like to see people puke, this film has lots
of it. It's not going to win any special achievement Oscar(tm) for
innovative puke delivery, and it's not the most realistic depiction of
puke, and it's not the chunkiest puke, but there is plenty of it for you
puke lovers. Almost every character has a chance to puke, barf,
yak, hurl, or blow chunks. Even the young cast members get to toss
their cookies into the ring. If you're a serious fan of bodily
functions, there's also a shot of someone peeing and someone else
sitting on the toilet. And, there's blood and some gory toothy
bits. No nudity, however.
The Masked Reviewer should point out that his remarks on the
profundity of puke is not necessarily a bad thing. Take for
example the vomit scene in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
Truly inspiring. But even gallons of regurgitation couldn't make
this film more interesting.
Denis Leary does have a few good lines, but nothing memorable.
What's the deal with his name, anyway? Why only one 'n'?
Dennis Franz, Dennis Hopper, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Miller...all have two
n's. He must be one of those fancy Hollywood types that
wants to stand out from the crowd. Or, perhaps he sold the other n
to the devil for cigarettes and booze. Hopefully he didn't make
his deal with the devil to get the part in The Secret Lives of
All around, the acting was good. Of special note are the three
young girls who were very convincing in their roles as little girls.
The filmmakers used too much laughing gas, but didn't deliver enough
laughs to the audience.
Expectation from the Title: Late at night, after the drills
have stopped and the rinse-sinks have been turned off, Dr. Goldman slips
into his giant chicken suit and pulls on the fishnets and satin bra.
They laughed when he told them there was a niche market for giant
transsexual chicken porn...and now, he'd show the world.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
This film should remind us all to brush after every meal, and good
dental health is always a good thing.
The Pros: The dentist's drill sound always makes people
squirm, a couple of good lines by Leary, the acting was very solid by
everyone including the kids.
The Cons: Dull. Long. Not sure if it's a comedy or a
drama, but it's not a good one of either.