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PATCH ADAMS

SYNOPSIS:
When Hunter ‘Patch’ Adams (Robin Williams) checks himself into a psychiatric hospital after a suicidal episode, he finds a medical establishment that’s cold and uncaring about him or the other patients. Given hope by his connection with another patient, Patch decides to enroll in medical school and become a doctor. There, his unorthodox ways bring him into conflict with the head of the school Dean Walcott (Bob Gunton) and with his roommate Mitch (Philip Seymour Hoffman). While the teachers preach book learning and emotional detachment, Patch believes that to treat a disease, the physician should connect with his patients. This strikes a chord with fellow students Truman (Daniel London) and Carin (Monica Potter), not to mention several patients and nurses at the university hospital. He convinces Truman and Carin to help him set up a free clinic in an old farm house; but they soon find themselves in serious difficulty.

"Director Tom Shadyac (Liar Liar) and star Robin Williams are not known for their restrained approach to filmmaking, and in this case, they’ve gone a little overboard. Williams is a talented actor, and there’s no doubt his heart’s in the right place in taking on the role of Patch, a real-life doctor making his mark on the US health system. But the script is so lumbering and so unsubtle, it gives him little scope to develop the character. Example - at the beginning of the film, Patch has an epiphany with another patient and decides to become a doctor "to help people". Having set this motivation up, it should have been left at that; but the line "I just want to help people" is repeated mantra-like throughout the film (it seemed like every 10 minutes or so). This movie has also basically borrowed the plot structure (and faults) from Scent of a Woman (the Pacino version); complete with pseudo-courtroom scene at the end. No prizes for guessing how that one turns out. The supporting characters are little more than cardboard cut-outs; particularly (and inexcusably) Dean Walcott who seems to have been plucked straight from a Police Academy movie. Robins and his supporting cast try hard, but despite some amusing moments, can’t rise above the mawkish material. If you’re a diabetic, you may like to think about giving Patch Adams a miss - the blood sugar levels likely to be induced by this syrupy movie could be hazardous to your health."
David Edwards

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

PATCH ADAMS (M15+)
(US)

CAST: Robin Williams, Monica Potter, Daniel London, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bob Gunton

DIRECTOR: Tom Shadyac

PRODUCER: Mike Farrell, Barry Kemp, Marvin Minoff, Charles Newirth

SCRIPT: Steve Oedekerk (based on the book "Gesundheit: Good Health Is a   Laughing Matter" by Hunter Doherty Adams & Maureen Mylander)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Phedon Papamichael

EDITOR: Don Zimmerman

MUSIC: Marc Shaiman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Linda DeScenna

RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: March 25, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: September 29, 1999

Sell-thru: March 29, 2000

RRP: $19.95

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures Video







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