Woody Allen’s latest film, Blue Jasmine, has provoked a backlash from New York dentists, who claim the film sheds a bad light on dentists.
Mark S. Wolff, chairman of the New York University College of Dentistry, believes dentists have constantly been portrayed ruthlessly in cinema. He said: ‘Onscreen, we [dentists] range from killers to buffoons to sexual harrassers.’
He takes his examples from films such as Marathon Man, Little Shop of Horrors, Cactus Flower, and more recently, Jennifer Aniston’s predatory dentist in Horrible Bosses.
In Blue Jasmine, Cate Blanchett stars as a former sociailite who takes a job with a supposedly respectable dentist, Dr Flicker (Michael Stuhlberg). Things turn ugly when Dr Flicker begins making sexual advances towards Blanchett’s character.
For Wolff, it’s the cherry on top of an ever-expanding cake of evil Hollywood dentists. In Little Shop of Horrors, Steve Martin portrayed a corrupt dentist sniffing nitrous oxide, inflicting pain on his patients and abusing his girlfriend. In the hit US sitcom, Friends, Jennifer Aniston’s character was cheated on by her dentist fiancé, Barry.
As Wolff said: ‘That sort of stuff doesn’t help the profession.’
New York dentist Debra Glassman agrees: ‘Movies and TV definitely have fun at dentists’ expense. Patients have complete trust in their dentist. I treat everyone as if I’m the one in the chair.’
Despite this, Wolff ends on a good note, hoping Allen has a great dentist. ‘If he needs one, we’re happy to help with a referral.’