IN an era when romance seems to have taken a back seat to sex, it's heartwarming to see a film like Roxanne (World, 9.35pm) blowing the trumpet - no pun intended - for the loveliness of love. Steve Martin translates Edmond Rostand's big-nosed duellist-philosopher-poet into C.D. Bales, fire chief in a small northern American town. Martin took something of a risk with Roxanne, producing it, writing it and starring in it. He spurns his usual role as the affable jerk and leaves himself free to parade subtler gifts. As a result, this is far and away his richest, most lyrical, sweet-natured and funny film. Martin's C.D. Bales is a complex creation; a much-beloved and witty man who happens to have a big nose and who falls in love with astronomer Roxanne (Daryl Hannah), a romantic beauty who craves communion with a fine mind but automatically pays litle attention to C.D. because of that proboscis. Chivalrously, C.D. supports the courtship of Roxanne by Chris (Rick Rossovich), the dimmest of his firemen. He wins her for him with his words, dictating the love-letters and even hilariously stage-managing her wooing by car radio. There are many wonderful scenes in the film; look especially for the one in a bar when Martin does all the big-nose jokes. Yet Roxanne remains a love story and sticks close enough to its source, paying homage without losing any of its originality. Hannah shows a fire she had not shown before and has rarely shown since. THE seedier areas of Chuck Berry's life - the womanising and his early 60s jail term - are glossed over in Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (Pearl, 1.05am). This does not stop it being grand entertainment, culminating in Berry's 60th birthday concert held in his home town of St Louis. The film is two treats in one - an overview of the rock legend's career and the concert footage, which features other notables including Eric Clapton, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison and Bruce Springsteen. Berry's naughty episodes are whitewashed, but his hot temper is very much in evidence during some amusing skirmishes with concert producer Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. LAUGHS are scarce in Repossessed, but scarcer still in Frankenstein: The College Years (Pearl, 9.30pm), which stars William Ragsdale. Ragsdale has featured in a number of forgettable movies, including the ludicrous Mannequin on the Move series, which is shown on Hong Kong television with depressing frequency. Ragsdale is a witless medical student who revives a 100-year-old corpse, calls him Frank N. Stein (geddit) and lets him loose to cause chaos on campus. FULL credit to Linda Blair for hamming it up something rotten in Repossessed (World, 12.55am), a not-so-gentle satire on movies such as The Exorcist. Blair starred in the original Exorcist and here reprises her role as a woman with the Devil inside her. FILMS on Cable Movie Channel: Night Hunt (7pm). On a journey home to Boston for a Thanksgiving family reunion, a woman and her daughter (Stefanie Powers and Helen Shaver) stumble across a secret cache of weapons and dollars, and are marked for death by a gang called Los Muertos. Ranma 1/2: Movie II (11pm). The Japanese sensation returns. This time our eponymous hero is looking for the Illusion Prince, who has been luring innocent young girls aboard his ship so he can choose a bride. Rhapsody in August (1.30am). Thoughtful but (by his standards) fairly minor Akira Kurosawa number about the painful memories of a Japanese grandmother who recalls the bombing of Nagasaki at the end of World War II. Richard Gere, in what is nothing more than a glorified cameo, does not seem too incongruous as a Japanese-American member of the woman's extended clan.