First, let me be clear. Director Mike Figgis's MR. JONES (1993),
staring Richard Gere as Mr. Jones, is an extremely hard show to watch.
Think of it as paying $7 for a virtual reality game where you too can
be a manic depressive and for two solid hours no less!
Second, the ending is awful. Third, the script writers (Michael
Cristofer and Eric Roth) felt like they had to introduce an
unbelievable love affair with the patient Mr. Jones and the
psychiatrist Dr. Libbie Bowen (Lena Olin). Actually, for this bit of
ridiculousness, I do thank them somewhat. Without it, the show was so
intense it might have been totally unbearable. Finally, the title is
terrible. Mr. Jones sounds like a love story or a light comedy.
Now, why in my right mind (no pun intended), would I recommend
this show and give it a high rating (*** 1/2)? Two reasons. First,
Gere performance, especially in his manic states, was pure academy
award winning stuff. Second, it forces you, albeit very painfully, to
come to grips with what depression is and even more so what manic
depression is. Every time Gere got into his manic state, you felt like
you had just popped a bottle of speed. This is one of those show you
think about again and again for years.
Copyright © 1996 Steve Rhodes