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Couch Trip

A 1988 movie directed by Michael Ritchie

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Ignorant Puffed-up Smidgn of Blowfish ...

  • Apr 14, 2000

Cons: Adult Situations, language

Fast paced, sarcastic, tongue in cheek, the Couch Trip is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I've probably watched this movie at least 40 times. I still find something new every time I watch it.

The story is about an escaped mental patient played by Dan Ackroyd. He escapes the Cicero County Mental Correctional Unit and makes it from Chicago to Los Angeles where he impersonates his psychiatrist. In less than 48 hours, Ackroyd has taken over the practice of a Beverly Hills doctor and is on the air giving advice for a radio talk show.

The situations created by this devilishly twisted man are hilarious. He picks up an "associate" along the way played by Walter Matthau who recognizes his jail issued pants. "You look like a no good misfit who has skirted around society's edges and never done s--t. Takes one to know one." Matthau's character is a street person who is "rotated" by society through jails and mental wards. He fits right in in Beverly Hills with folks who get shoulder pad implants.

Also in this film is Donna Dixon, Ackroyd's real life wife. She is quite lovely and plays another doctor and becomes Ackroyd's love interest. Things go along quite nicely with Dr. Baird, until the REAL Doctor Baird finds out.

With Charles Grodin and Mary Gross rounding out the cast as the neurotic Beverly Hills doctor on sabbatical and his cheating wife, this movie has some of the best dialogue of any movie I've seen. A barrel of laughs for those with sophisticated wit.


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About this movie


Based on the novel by Ken Kolb, Michael Ritchie's comedy THE COUCH TRIP poses the theory that psychiatrists are even more screwed up than their clients. The story concerns Dr. George Maitlin (Charles Grodin), a stuffy, pretentious radio shrink who decides to take a sabbatical after his own mental breakdown. Before leaving for London, he orders the station to hire a hapless replacement so that his eventual return will be all the more welcome. When they try to get in contact with a Dr. Baird, the individual who answers the phone assumes the doctor's identity and takes his new position behind the microphone. It turns out that the new Dr. Baird is actually an escaped mental patient, John Burns (Dan Aykroyd), a straight talker whose to-the-point advice turns him into an overnight sensation. While this is happening, Burns befriends Donald Becker (Walter Matthau), a panhandler who's fed up with the insanity of society. Just when Burns fears that his hot streak is about to hit a snag, Becker's disgust with the w...
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Cast: Donna Dixon
Director: Michael Ritchie
Release Date: 1988
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (April 01, 2003)
Runtime: 1hr 38min
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