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Norbert Leo Butz,
The story of two Mumfords - one a small town, the other a man. Mumford, the town, is full of people with problems, from a teenage girl who is unhappy with her looks to a local billionaire, "the king of modems", who would trade everything away if he could. So when Micky Mumford, the man, turns out to be a psychologist with slightly unusual methods he soon finds a spot in people's heart as someone to whom they can tell their secrets. But Micky too has a secret, and that one's about to hunt him down.Written by
Lawrence Kasdan has never been known for his comedy, per-say. He is perhaps best known as the screen writer on the best Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back, as well as his own The Big Chill. Mumford may be the most representative of his talents. It is widely agreed that Kasdan was brought into the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies to add a bit of humor to the films. This is most noticeable in the change from Raiders of the Lost Ark to the Temple of Doom, as 'Temple' is not nearly as enjoyable as Raiders, as it is missing much of the wit that has become a tired action cliché of late. Kasden has some of the back and forth in this movie, with smart responses that make you smirk. But most of the movie centers around the plot, which is about a man named Mumford that no one seems to know much about but everyone talks to. Throughout the film Mumford helps his patients realize what they need, which seems to be their only problem. Occasionally he takes an active role, but often all he does is listen. Loren Dean plays the role with a carefree attitude that wouldn't work in most films but fits right on the money here. His indifference makes him the perfect person to talk to. The supporting cast, especially Hope Davis, Alfre Woodard, Jason Lee and Mary McDonnell are outstanding, although a lot of attention was paid to casting, and you can tell. Everyone seems to fit their role well. Mumford doesn't have gut-busting laughter or moments of pure hilarity, it rather trucks along in a more traditional idea of comedy, and send-back to the old days of comedy when people cared about atmosphere and character. The biggest achievement of this movie is that nothing is said to take you out of the feeling that you are watching real people, which is a hard thing in comedy these days. The movie doesn't make a huge impact, and, if I weren't so in love with it, it would be quite forgettable, as it probably is to many people. However, it is the only movie in a very long time where I left the theater smiling because I had been emotionally moved. And that's the most impressive thing of all.
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