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Patch Adams
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Reviews & Ratings for
Patch Adams More at IMDbPro »

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60 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

Robin Williams:The Best Medicine

7/10
Author: SmileysWorld from United States
8 March 2005

In my opinion,Robin Williams is at his best when playing characters much like himself.This film is based on the life of the real Hunter "Patch" Adams,a man that Williams himself says that he closely relates to.In the medical profession,it is easy to become hard nosed and so wrapped up in treating the sickness that it is all too easy to forget that there are actual people behind the sickness.We are taught by Patch to treat the person first,because when you do so,treating the illness becomes somewhat easier.Sometimes people don't get better,but treating the soul to a laugh or two can lessen the pain and suffering.Sometimes people die,and while the people that loved them suffer and grieve,the suffering and grief are eased somewhat by the knowledge that their departed loved ones no longer suffer.This role was tailor made for Williams,and he is supported well,including another overlooked performance by the late Michael Jeter as a squirrel fearing mental patient.Thumbs up!

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62 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

Touched my heart

10/10
Author: Vampera66 from United States
17 March 2005

The first time I watched this movie, it was truly wonderful and has been every time I've watched it since. "Patch Adams" delivers a powerful message of how to just be silly and break the rules when it's in the best interest of everyone around. He knew in his heart that all the patients needed to laugh. Laughter is after all the best medicine anyone could ask for. But Patch knew how to be serious and when to be. How he treated all the other students, faculty, nurses, and patients truly inspired more than just me, but many people I know. His way of life is one that I recommend for anyone.

Robin Williams give a 5-star performance in Patch Adams. He is a genius in creativity and comedy, but knows how to bring every aspect of a person's life out on the screen. I know that he is just playing the role, but he wraps you entirely into a movie and makes it seem like he is the man.

I recommend this movie to all...young and old. It's a winner forever in my heart.

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55 out of 77 people found the following review useful:

Laughter Is The Best Medicine.

Author: famousgir1 from London/England
15 September 2001

Patch Adams is the remarkable true story about a man determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. The medical community though do not like his methods of healing the sick patients, even though everyone else appreciates and enjoys what he does as he is the only one who can do so. Robin Williams stars as Patch 'Hunter' Adams and he does a brilliant job as always. He's an amazing actor and *really* funny too. Other good performances, come from Philip Seymour Hoffman and Monica Potter. Patch Adams is a must-see and I give the movie a 10/10.

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31 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Middle Vintage Robin Williams

Author: Steve Baker (s.baker@iig.com.au) from Cairns Australia
28 March 1999

No one is more evangelistic than the newly re born. Beware the ex smoker, the ex drinker, or the ex mental patient because he or she is likely to be painfully over enthusiastic, especially to the yet to be reformed.

Patch Adams is loosely based on a real character who, feeling suicidal in his twenties, admitted himself into a psychiatric institution. He soon emerged convinced that loving kindness will heal most ills, or at least make the disease more palatable.

The real Patch Adams entered and passed medical school in the 1970's and opened an alternative medical facility called the Geshundheit Institute which, if you can believe the film, offered free treatment of a sort; the sort that uses drugs pinched from the local hospital.

Enter Robin Williams as Patch Adams. If laughter is the best medicine, you're a bit of a Robin Williams fan and you enjoy a big dose of Hollywood fantasy, then this film will please you greatly.

He begins the film bedraggled and of course much older than the real Patch. He's depressed and might kill himself so he puts himself into the hands of the doctors.

He's locked into a room with a fellow patient called Rudy (Michael Jeter) who is crouched on the bed terrified of imaginary squirrels. Patch blows them away with imaginary machine guns and a doctor is born!

Cut to the medical school where an army styled dean (Bob Gunton, who played the warden in The Shawshank Redemption) is determined to turn his students into doctors; creatures far superior to humans. The stage is set.

This is classic Robin Williams territory. He plays the well meaning, very funny, inordinately warm human being who bucks authority and who appeals to the better instincts of those insensitive individuals who are in power. We've seen this before in Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire, When Dreams Might Come and Good Poets Society; his kindly uncle persona. Williams has made this territory his own.

Patch Adams works the magic well. It's laced with terrific Robin Williams one liners which are often absurdly funny and lots of gently humourous slapstick clowning, largely to do with props such as enema bulbs as false noses or bed pans as shoes.

There are a succession of set pieces; the most unrealistic of which is the crashing by Patch with student friend Truman (Daniel London) of a Meat Packers convention; the most amusing of which is a wonderfully outlandish welcome for a gynecological convention; the most annoying of which is the wooing of a young medical student called Carin (Monica Potter) by the very middle aged Patch.

A middle aged lover for Patch would have been a pleasing variation on the old geyser gets young bird theme which is so popular.

And then there's even a court scene (in a hospital!) thrown in with an appropriate audience of cancer patients and you can be sure that you've been asked to leap through just about all of the appropriate hoops, but so what! Robin Williams can make this sort of stuff work pretty well.

Patch Adams is Robin Williams at his middle aged best. It's not as anarchic as Mork And Mindy, as energetic as Good Morning Vietnam, as sad as Dead Poets' Society, as funny as Mrs. Doubtfire or as wishful as When Dreams Might Come. But Patch Adams is pretty funny and reasonably intelligent.

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43 out of 70 people found the following review useful:

Not-That-Sugary Look At A Good-Hearted Man

9/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
9 November 2006

There are a lot of sugary clichés I use - in a nice way - to describe this story about a doctor with a good heart who truly believes in the healing power of laughter. Based on a real-life person (who looks a lot wackier than Robin Williams, who plays him in this movie), the story has its usual rebel fights-the- straight-laced-establishment cliché but is a warm, sentimental film that can't help but make you feel really good when it's all over. It's hardly all sugar, either, as there are not only frustrations but an immensely-shocking tragedy in here.

For a nice "family" movie, the profanity and sexual innuendos are a little much, so I don't think is one for the kids. (They wouldn't like it anyway.) Adults shouldn't mind. The language isn't that bad, anyway.

"Patch's" remedy for not only sickness but to get-the-girl is humor. It takes him awhile but he softens the hard-shell woman he's after (Monica Potter) and even the super stiff-ass roommate (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in the end. This film is tailor-made for Williams and his great sense of humor and ability to ad-lib. He has a lot of funny lines in here.

There is one little kid in here who's smile is one of the best I've ever seen on a human being, and I wish the boy had more scenes. The touches of sentimentality he brings, along with the laughter, is wonderful to see and heart- warming, to say the least. This is an inspiring story with comedy and romance and drama. That's what makes it so effective: a good combination of genres. One minute you're laughing, a few minutes later you have tears in your eyes.

A wonderful story, nicely acted and nicely told.

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35 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Great film! Just a hair off center, but still well in the bullseye.

9/10
Author: StephenC from Kansas City, MO, USA
28 December 1998

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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36 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

You'll Love Him... Or Else!!!

1/10
Author: Bolesroor from New York, NY USA
22 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Patch Adams" is a movie so blatantly awful, so boldly outrageous, that I find it much more offensive than even the most disgusting hard-core pornography. This film is Evil, from beginning to end, and should be avoided at all costs.

This is a feel-good true-story biopic, with Robin Williams portraying the titular doctor... right? Wrong. This movie is "Robin Williams Goes to Med School." Any attempt at portraying a real person is instantly forgotten, as Williams' manic needy comedy overtakes every sequence, from the absurd opening at the mental institution to the rebel without a clue university years...

"Love ME!! Laugh at ME!! VALIDATE ME!!!" shouts Robin as he riffs his way through classes... watch him light up the sickly faces of sick children as he desperately searches for any device to elicit a laugh from the audience. 'Medicine is important,' Patch postulates, 'but what a doctor really needs to know is how to make his patients laugh.' Bullsh!t. What can be said about a movie that makes a mockery of doctors and nurses who spend lifetimes studying and toiling in obscurity to heal and cure in order to praise a clown with an enema bulb on his nose? The movie doesn't just ask you to love Robin Williams... the movie insists you love NO ONE ELSE! Characters are either ineffectual pawns (his Jewish nebbish of a best bud, the patients) or villains (Bob Gunton) who stand in the way of Patch's violent, oppressive comedy. A terminal cancer patient throws Patch out of his hospital room, insisting he doesn't want to be cheered up, but Patch will have none of it! He dresses as an angel and sneaks his way back in and beats the man over the head with jokes until he finally relents... Patch wins! This movie is all about hostility disguised as comedy... you have to laugh or Patch will destroy you!

Smarmy, schmaltzy and sometimes infuriating, "Patch Adams" crosses the line by sanctifying its subject and refusing to consider any other point of view... Phillip Seymour Hoffman stars as Patch's roommate, a serious-minded med student who wants nothing more than to study and graduate. He has the best line of the film when he angrily declares: "If I'm sick and I have the choice between a pr!ck doctor and a clown... I WANT THE PR!CK!!!"

I do too.

GRADE: F

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Drama that tried to be funny?

8/10
Author: Christopher Shelton (suprgrovee@aol.com) from California
2 July 1999

I think that the critics missed an important aspect of this movie, as did many viewers who have commented before me. Too many have claimed that this movie was a drama full of comedy, or a drama that was trying to be funny. Whether the critics think it achieved that goal or not, they missed an important point. The point is that Drama and Comedy are not two seperate things to be combined. A movie shouldn't have to combine the two. The two things are already combined. This movie attempted to show that there is comedy and laughter inherent in the drama of our everyday life. If we can find it, it can help us through the drama. This is the reason we cry when we are happy and we cry when we are sad. All emotions are part of something bigger and they are more similar than we think. I think that's part of what Patch Adams is trying to say.

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30 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

I could not have disliked this movie more.

1/10
Author: Gillian Wixley from South Africa
16 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(****Spoilers****)

This is my number 1 worst movie of all time. It was so soppy and over sentimental it literally made me feel nauseous. I loved Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting (one of my favourite movies) this movie has pretty much put me off him forever. I found the character of Patch so completely annoying he made the movie impossible to enjoy.

The part when he is about to kill himself and finds meaning in life again from a butterfly and the scene where all the children come in to the court room with clown noses on were the worst.

The sad thing is that the fact that it is based on a fairly remarkable true story, And could have been done so much better. This is in my opinion jointly the fault of the screenplay and of Robin William's over-acting.

I give it a 1 out of 10.

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17 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Yuri Zhivago he isn't

8/10
Author: helpless_dancer from Broken Bow, Oklahoma
22 January 2000

Perhaps Williams finest effort to date. I laughed till my sides ached, and maybe even shed a tear or 2, but I won't admit to actually doing so. Liked that big shock the film produced a little over half way through - totally unexpected. If I had a problem at all with this picture, it would be that it is a tad pat, but I still thought it was excellent. Highly recommended.

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