The story of Gross Anatomy concerns five first-year med students who's grueling academic schedule and various experiences with getting their feet wet forces them to consider whether they're really ready for the committment or are they just wasting their time. This is particularly true of main character Joe Slovak (Matthew Modine), as apparent from the introduction of him sitting in various admissions interviews trying to answer questions the way he thinks would please the representatives. Joe's a bright guy, and a pretty gifted med student, if only he'd apply himself. And that's pretty much the whole ponit of the movie. What is Joe Slovak's goal here?
The one to impress that on him the most is a pretty tight-fisted, but well-meaning professor played by Christine Lahti. Her character is not simply there to turn out med students who know the human anatomy, but who also have compassion towards their patients and realize that there is really much more to the whole field than just memorizing terms or grades on exams. Joe Slovak has yet to learn that.
The movie is pretty funny, despite being a somewhat sad story towards the end (and you'll probably guess why early on). But, it is a pretty entertaining film, and often a funny one at that. It's also interesting to take a look at the day in the life of a med student, particularly if those are your perspective plans. I'm not sure that this (and Vital Signs, which deals with 3rd year med students) is an exaggerated perspective of medical school like say, The Paper Chase (which deals with first year law students). Then again, they're two different ball games. 80s fans are sure to enjoy it. Daphne Zugian is always funny to see as the girl who tries too hard to pretend that she doesn't care or isn't effected by certain things (see The Sure Thing), but later, has to break down and admit it. She's pretty funny here, as well as the rest of the supporting cast, to make it quite an engrossing little movie. Aces!