out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Review by MrBrown
1 star out of 4
_Patch_Adams_ tells the true story of an American original: Hunter
"Patch" Adams (here played by Robin Williams), a former mental patient
turned doctor who pioneered a philosophy of treating patients with a
strong prescription of humor.
However, the film itself is far from original, following an all-too
familiar checklist for assembly-line "heartwarming human comedy-drama."
Williams breaks absolutely no new ground playing a goofy guy who is
really brilliant but _misunderstood_. Check. He bucks convention and
draws the ire of a sternly traditional authority figure (Bob Gunton's med
school dean). Check. The hero takes a liking to an icy young lady
(Monica Potter) initially turned off by our lovable eccentric but
eventually comes around. Check. An arbitrary and completely predictable
tragedy causes the confident hero to question his beliefs and abilities.
Check. Friends tell him how special he is, but our hero only finds new
inspiration after receiving an apparent sign from a divine source.
Check. The hero then faces the authority figure and wins. Check.
As if the by-the-letter formula of _Patch_Adams_ weren't bad enough,
writer Steve Oedekerk and director Tom Shadyac (yes, they of
_Ace_Ventura_ infamy) drown the proceedings in a sea of schmaltz that is
even more insulting than it is nauseating. Patch's tear-wringing
monologue at a climactic hearing is sappy enough, but was it really
necessary to follow that with a group of cancer-stricken youths donning
red noses in support? It's enough to make anyone gag--that is, if they
don't go into insulin shock first.
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