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Patch Adams

Patch Adams

Starring Robin Williams
Screenplay by Steve Oedekerk
Based on a book by Hunter Adams
Directed by Tom Shadyac
Website: www.patchadams.com

IN SHORT: A Superior date flick

Here's the net result of twenty years of dating, offered to all you teenboys who are so hard up you have nothing better to do than speculate as to my particular preferences. For the first hour of Patch Adams, you can ease back and guffaw all you want as Robin Williams' character commits himself to a mental institution (suicide watch) and then heads to medical school where he is not only a decade older than everyone else he's also smarter than everybody else. Adams passes the time with an enema bulb on his nose, making like a clown in the kidlet's ward of a Virginia teaching hospital.

For the second hour, you'll best be ready to hand over the tissues (or at least offer to pound a spigot into the side of your date's head, so that the tears are redirected and she can stay focussed on the screen) as the movie makes a serious swerve into tearjerker drama. Keep a straight face, or even go for a bit of red eye, and you'll instantaneously elevate yourself in her eyes from the pond scum that they think we are. [Sorry. I'm showing my age...]

Patch Adams is based on the lifestory of a Doctor who really did take the radical notion that patients are people and that good humor is beneficial to their well being. Basically, he got doctors to lighten up and, apparently, continues to do so to this day, having sold his story to raise money to build the hospital center of his dreams. Adams' behavior tweaked the nose of the medical establishment, opened the minds of stuffy doctor wannabe students and landed a Julia Roberts lookalike as his movie girlfriend. Way to go Patch.

Now, Cranky's gonna be honest. If anyone had come into Cranky's room during the year or so while the Halo brace was screwed into my skull and started cracking jokes, I would have killed him. Literally. I mean it. Then again, if it is because of doctors like Hunter Adams that my neurosurgeon felt safe hanging his head down and crying in front of me, when he informed me that my surgeries had failed and I could be facing quad paralysis in ten years, then this guy's life is a good thing.

It would not be diss to say that Robin Williams is developing into his own particular genre of movie star, in the manner of Gary Cooper or Cary Grant. You will always find his extreme ability to find humor in humorless situations charming; his ability to take the air out of a stuffed shirt enabling; his willingness to wear his hear on his sleeve touching. This movie is, at its heart, all Williams (which is why I've not mention his co-stars) who holds his own through ending after ending after ending in the screenplay by Steve Oedekerk. It's probably 'cuz my back is all shot to hell, folks, but Patch Adams starts feeling long as multiple stories work towards conclusion one after another. My ex'll be a puddle on the floor when she sees the movie. One major spigot turning is more than enough for me, and Patch Adams delivers at least two of ‘em.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Patch Adams, he would have paid . . .


Just so's you know. Cranky passed the ten year mark in September and everything's working just fine.

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