A burnt-out shrink needs a temp. A charming escaped convict takes over his practice and radio show.

Director:

Michael Ritchie

Writers:

Ken Kolb (novel), Steven Kampmann (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Aykroyd ... John W. Burns, Jr.
Walter Matthau ... Donald Becker
Charles Grodin ... George Maitlin
Donna Dixon ... Laura Rollins
Richard Romanus ... Harvey Michaels
Mary Gross ... Vera Maitlin
David Clennon ... Lawrence Baird
Arye Gross ... Perry Kovin
Victoria Jackson ... Robin
Michael DeLorenzo ... Lopez
Mickey Jones ... Watkins
J.E. Freeman ... Unger
David Wohl ... Dr. Smet
Michael Ensign ... Hendricks
Carol Mansell ... Mrs. Blair
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Storyline

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 <rhkessen@cs.vu.nl> typos corrected by Hikari

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy of truly loony proportions.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cause that Donald Becker (Walter Matthau) was a proponent of was "People for the Ethical Treatment of Plants". See more »

Goofs

The sexual positions list on the computer has misspelled margarine as margerine. See more »

Quotes

Laura Rollins: I covered your ass.
John W. Burns, Jr.: Why?
Laura Rollins: Because I once thought it was cute.
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Connections

Referenced in There's Nothing Out There (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Fever
by Otis Blackwell (as John Davenport) and Eddie Cooley
Hudson Bay Music, Inc. on behalf of Fort Knox Music, Inc. / Trio Music Company, Inc.
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User Reviews

Amusing, but nothing special
25 January 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

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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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 January 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Couch Trip See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,351,891, 17 January 1988

Gross USA:

$11,005,304

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,005,304
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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