Pros: True Story; Touching the First Time; Robin Williams is GREAT!
Cons: Recycled Scenery; Can't Watch it More Than Once; I HATE Monica Potter; Nothing Really Outstanding (Except For Williams)
Hunter "Patch" Adams finds himself on the brink of suicide, so he checks himself into a mental institution. There, he is surrounded by all sorts of mental patients, including his roommate Rudy, who is absolutely terrified of the squirrels that only he can see. Patch helps Rudy fend off the squirrels one night so Rudy can "go pee." Rudy pees, and Patch decides that he wants to be a doctor so that he can help people. He enrolls at a university (James Madison, I think) and kicks butt in academia. However, he finds it necessary to gain contact with patients so he can make them feel better with laughter. He ropes in his two friends, Corinne and Truman, and begins the Gesundheidt Institute. He steps on a few toes of authority, and finds himself dismissed from school - twice. Patch fights the system and, of course, wins.
Patch Adams is based on a true story. I left out a great deal of details, just in case you haven't seen the movie and don't know the story of Patch.
Robin Williams does a great job portraying the wanna-be doctor. As usual, he executes excellent comedic timing, but we also get to see a serious side of Williams. His final monologue about doctors is absolutely astounding. I must say, though, a few of his serious scenes had echoes of Dead Poets Society.
Monica Potter portrayed Patch's ice queen love interest, Corinne. I believe that this bit of casting was a very bad choice. The word I constantly use to describe Potter is "fragile." I have never seen a movie with Monica Potter where she hasn't been crying. Talk about getting stuck in a type-cast! She and Williams just don't have any chemistry in this film. I felt nothing for the character of Corinne Fischer, which is just a shame.
There's not much you can say for the sets: A house, an asylum, a university, a hospital, a ranch, a mansion, and a courtroom. Nothing was new. As a matter of fact, these sets looked rather recycled from other movies. For example, I could swear they used the same dorm in School Ties. Pretty disappointing, if you ask me.
The first time I saw this film, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I went with Dionne25 and Julie713, and the three of us were bawling. I liked it so much that I saw it in the theatre again on a date with someone (whose name I can't even remember). I was touched, but the film lost a lot of its charm. I recently watched it for a third time, on my flight from New York to St. Louis, and desperately tried to fall asleep.
I compare this film to Erin Brockovich, even though Patch Adams came out a year or so earlier. I really think that this movie initiated the interest in making human-interest movies about ordinary people who do extraordinary things.
Some people had a problem with the flesh of the film. Dont pick it apart ...that is not how movies work. If I, for instance, had this on dvd and it skipped back and forth from one scene in the beginning, then to the Donner scene, to the end, then yes, we could listen to the critics. BUT THAT AIN'T HOW IT WORKS- as we say in Alabama. Frankly from front to finish you will enjoy this movie, if you will just believe it. It happened. You will laugh you will cry, and may even be inspired.
Pros: True Story; Touching the First Time; Robin Williams is GREAT! Cons: Recycled Scenery; Can't Watch it More Than Once; I HATE Monica Potter; Nothing Really Outstanding (Except For Williams) Hunter "Patch" Adams finds himself on the brink of suicide, so he checks himself into a mental institution. There, he is surrounded by all sorts of mental patients, including his roommate Rudy, who is absolutely terrified of the squirrels that only … more
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Tom Shadyac's (ACE VENTURA) film tells the true story of Hunter "Patch" Adams (Robin Williams), an aspiring doctor in the 1970's who attempted to treat his patients with a medicine that modern science had totally disregarded: humor. After a stint in a mental hospital where he discovers his need to help others, a young Patch enters medical school. There he develops his own methods of reaching patients as an antidote to the the pomposity he witnesses in his instructors and fellow students. While his patients and fellow staff members appreciate his approach, the powers-that-be frown upon his "unschooled" methods and attempt to prevent him from practicing. Philip Seymour Hoffman (MAGNOLIA) and Monica Potter (ALONG CAME A SPIDER) co-star in this crowd pleaser based on a book by Adams.