Patch Adams is determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. Unfortunately, the medical and scientific community does not appreciate his methods of healing the sick, while the actual patients, medical professors, and hospital nurses all appreciate the work *he* can do, because they are unable to do it. Written by
Ari Herzog <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Great film! Just a hair off center, but still well in the bullseye.
During a family day at the movies over Christmas weekend, most of my family picked "You've Got Mail". But I pretty much detest romantic comedies, so I picked "Patch Adams" instead. How much did I like it? I went and saw it again the next day, dragging the whole family with me this time.
Don't let the previews fool you: this is not a comedy. This is a very moving drama based on the real life of Hunter "Patch" Adams and his trials on the road to becoming a doctor and attempting to revolutionize the health care industry by creating a free hospital in West Virginia (which has come to pass and is presently being constructed, or so the overlayed tagline at the end of the movie claims).
Williams delivers a stellar performance as Patch, who practices "Laughter Is The Best Medicine" and entertains and amuses hospital patients in an effort to befriend them and ease their pain. So as you can imagine, Williams' clownish personality and humor seep in and bring an incredible vibrance to the character. His performance alone is worth your ticket, but the supporting actors (Philip Hoffman and newcomers Daniel London and Monica Potter) also deliver great performances and add a lot to the story. The plot is well done (being partially written by Adams) and the story may inspire you.
My only major complaint about the movie (and why I say it's a hair off center) is the very stereotypical and uber-evil portrayal of the dean of the medical school, who has a vendetta against Adams but for which a real reason is never given. (This could be attributed to Adams' hand in the scripting, but I doubt it.)
Beyond that, this movie is very enjoyable, very touching, and very award-worthy. If it doesn't show up at least a couple times at the Oscars I'll be very disappointed. But just go see it for yourself. And if you don't cry at least once before the end, be worried; there is probably something wrong with you.
If you enjoy the movie, you may also want to check out the book by the real Patch Adams, entitled "Gesundheit!: Bringing Good Health to You, the Medical System, and Society Through Physician Service, Complementary Therapies, Humor, and Joy". Amazon.com carries it (as should any other reputable bookseller).
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