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Patch Adams

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Patch Adams

Starring: Robin Williams, Monica Potter
Director: Tom Shadyac
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 115 Minutes
Release Date: December 1998
Genres: Comedy, Drama

*Also starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel London, Josef Sommer, Irma P. Hall, Peter Coyote, Michael Jeter

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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