The escaped delinquent John W. Burns, Jr. replaces Dr. Maitlin on a radio show, saying he's the psychiatrist Lawrence Baird. His tactless radio show is a hit, and he becomes very popular. But then Dr. Maitlin meets the real Dr. Lawrence Baird at a congress in London...Written by
Tony Kessen <email@example.com> typos corrected by Hikari
A patient in a chicago physcriatric hospital is in a war with Doctor Baird. When he intercepts a call for Dr Baird to replace LA shrink Dr Maitlin in his practice and his radio show. Baird had been selected because he was inept enough not to put Maitlin in the shade. Burns escapes from the hospital, travels to LA and assumes Baird's identity to get the job. Issues are complicated when drifter Becker recognises Burns as a conman and tries to get in on the act.
This is an earlier version of Dolly Parton's `Straight Talk' - a straight talker gets mistaken for a radio host, gives mad advise but the public love it. This is complicated by Matthau's conman getting involved and other little subplots. The plot doesn't always convince or hold the interest but it is quite amusing at points. The ending is pure laziness as it attempts to milk a happy ending out of unlikely circumstances.
Aykroyd is well suited to his character and provides all the jokes here. Grodin and Matthau are both good but Matthau is certainly greatly underused. Really it's Aykroyd's show and everything slows down when he's not onscreen or when he's having to move the story on.
Overall this is a very standard film. It's only amusing when Aykroyd is allowed free reign, for the rest of the film it's dull at times, aimless and meandering at others. Of the famous cast, this is nobody's finest hour.
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