THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS is a miserable title. It creates the impression you’re going to see a salacious film and dentists who abuse their patients. Not so. It is the story of a couple, Dave and Dana Hurst, both dentists, who confront a mid-life crisis.
Dave seems to be carrying most of the weight of the family, his three little girls, and the dental practice. Dana seems more interested in singing in a opera. The littlest girl slaps her mommy and doesn’t want to be touched by her mommy. The oldest girl feels sick every day and doesn’t want to go to school. Both girls sense that something is wrong. Dave gets one annoying patient who is a trumpet player who makes his life miserable.
That night, after Dave drops Dana off to sing in the opera, he returns and runs up to give her a lucky rabbit’s foot. He catches her being caressed by the music director. She is clearly passionate. At this moment, his imagination starts to take over. He not only imagines her in all sorts of sexual situations; he also imagines the trumpet player showing up in his life at odd times to give him advice on his marriage. As the crisis builds, he mutters out loud that he wants to kill her. This setup leads to an unexpected resolution.
Eventually, THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS makes some moral points. It upholds marriage, condemns adultery and even implies that the trumpet player may be the Devil, feeding lies into Dave’s mind. The movie, however, is shot in such an artistic fashion that this allegory is not clear. It could just be interpreted as a psychological problem.
The acting in the movie is superb. The direction has moments of real brilliance, but at times gets bogged down in its own conceits. Like many low budget movies, it needs a better script and more money to polish it. And, it needs a new title!
In the long run, although it’s gotten some good reviews, THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS is really not worth wading through the sexual visions and hints of disaster to get to the moral point of the movie.
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SUMMARY: THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS is the story of a couple, Dave and Dana Hurst, both dentists, who confront a mid-life crisis. THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS eventually makes some moral points, has vague elements of redemptive allegory, and contains superb acting, but it is really not worth wading through the sexual visions and hints of disaster to get to the moral point of the movie.
(H, B, C, LL, V, SS, AA, D, M) Humanist worldview with a very light moral theme and some allegorical religious or psychological elements; 17 obscenities and eight profanities; violence associated with drilling teeth, shooting novocaine into mouths and visions of violently pulling teeth, little girl slaps father and mother, father throws furniture around; sexual foreplay by married couple, and dentist has sexual visions of his wife with other men as well as flashbacks which clearly portray fornication although in a static, non-erotic way; no nudity but female cleavage; drinking to excess; smoking cigars; and, lying, reference to luck, and theme of adultery.