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Robert Downey Jr.
Dr. Sullivan Travis "Dr. T." is a wealthy Dallas gynecologist for some of the wealthiest women in Texas who finds his idealist life beginning to fall apart starting when his wife, Kate, suffers a nervous breakdown and is committed to the state mental hospital. Dr. T's eldest daughter, Dee Dee, is planning to go through with her approaching wedding despite the secret that she's a lesbian and is romantically involved with Marilyn, the maid of honor. Dr T's youngest daughter, Connie, is a conspiracy theorist freak who has her own agenda to everything, while Dr. T's loyal secretary, Carolyn, has romantic feelings for him, which are not mutual. Dr. T's sister-in-law, Peggy, meddles in every situation she stumbles into, while one woman, Bree, a golf instructor, is the only one who offers him any comfort and salvation. Written by
You've Been So Good Up to Now
Composed by Lyle Lovett
Performed by Lyle Lovett
Published by Michael H. Goldsen Inc./Lyle Lovett
Courtesy of MCA Records/Curb Music Co.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
Like much of Robert Altman's work, this is a hit and miss movie, but worth seeing for some good performances, several genuinely funny scenes, and some of the master's typical ensemble sequences with all hell breaking loose while everybody talks at once! It is probably unhelpful to approach it as though it was a full-blooded satire on wealthy Texas women. For a start, the target is too easy - like the floating and walking birds Dr T and his buddies seem to think it's fair to shoot at - and in any case the focus of the film is not the Women of the title, but Dr T.
Richard Gere gives a typically charming and understated, performance as Dr T (for Travis), who is surrounded by women whom he likes and respects in private life, and cares for in his professional life as a gynecologist, but no more understands than most men. Farrah Fawcett gives a touching portrayal as his wife, who retreats into childhood to escape his smothering affection. Helen Hunt, as an independently-minded, intelligent golf pro, provides a refreshing change - both for Dr T and the audience - from the empty-headed shopaholics who people much of the movie. Laura Dern, Kate Hudson and Shelley Long sparkle as, respectively, Dr T's sister-in-law, daughter and receptionist. (As we might expect from Altman, the city of Dallas also plays a leading role; and the best casting is definitely that of Eric Ryan as the "birth baby"; Eric enters the IMDb actors data base at the tender age of zero!)
This is a long way from the vintage Altman of Mash, Nashville and The Player; but is still richer than most Hollywood fare.
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