Mumford (1999) Poster

(1999)

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9/10
Very Funny With Great Characters
SKeller6419 September 1999
Got the chance to see a sneak preview of Mumford and mainly went to see it for Chasing Amy's Jason Lee (as I'm that big of a Kevin Smith fan) and was rather caught off-guard by how good it was. Starting out, the movie is slightly oddly paced and just throws you into the plot with little explanation as to what's up. The script unfolds expertly and does a great job of drawing you into the storyline and the very believable characters. It's extremely funny in a low-key way with most of the humor coming as a quick comment delivered dead-pan. It's the sort of flick where all of the characters are great because they're so quirky that they are funny in and of themselves. The overall message of the movie is also a good one. Definitely reccomended viewing.

By the way, you get to see Jason Lee skate a bit. Cool beans.
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7/10
A good character driven romantic comedy
JBLOSS28 September 2001
Mumford was a nice surprise to watch - I didn't know anything about it so had no expectations. However I am surprised that it didn't even get a release in the cinema in the UK - it certainly deserved it. The film manages to combine believable characters, a little suspense, some humour and romance. In fact it manages to get away from the usual Hollywood schmaltz whilst being true to the characters. Definitely worth checking out as it has a lot going for it.
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9/10
Sneaks up on you
Sean Gallagher29 September 1999
There's a moment in MUMFORD where Mary McDonnell, who plays a woman obsessed with buying things, is talking to Loren Dean, who plays the main character, a psychologist whose name, Mumford, is the same as the town he and McDonnell live in, and she gets the look on her face which cartoon characters get when they think of an idea(and the light bulb goes on over their head), and all of a sudden realizes what's wrong with her. In a way, this movie from writer-director Lawrence Kasdan is like that. A lot of people have complained at how slow moving this is, but it's all the better for it to sneak up on you. And instead of just providing quick fix solutions for his patients, Mumford just gently prods and nudges until they find the path for themselves. Of course, this may just be an elaborate way of saying, "Physician, heal thyself," but that may be the point.

If you look at this in one way, you might think Mumford is merely a passive character, who only comes to life when he falls in love and when his secret is revealed. But gradually, you come to realize what's going on. Not only is his reticence a cover(a good one until he's exposed), but it's a way of, as I said, just gently prodding his patients to the right path. So he is active, but just in subtle ways. You need a subtle actor to handle that, and Loren Dean does quite a good job in that department. Hope Davis, who if there's any justice in this world will become a star, is also good as the patient he falls in love with. Their scenes together reminded me of the relationship between William Hurt and Geena Davis in THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, a Kasdan film this shares a lot with. And the rest of the cast is quite good as well(it's also nice to see Elisabeth Moss, so good in IMAGINARY CRIMES, still getting work, though I hope it's bigger roles in the future).

My only complaint was the scene where Mumford explains to Jason Lee(also excellent) and us what his past really was. The details themselves were okay, but the sequence was shot in grainy video stock(I think; I'm not an expert here), which, while it pays off later, is distracting here, particularly with its point-of-view camera. Still, this is a minor quibble for a movie which will leave you with a big smile on your face the entire way through.
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9/10
Undeservedly Overlooked Masterpiece
krdement14 February 2007
Of all of the comments to date, Jotix describes this film best. It is very reminiscent of some of the work of the great directors of Hollywood's Golden Era: Frank Capra, Ernst Lubitsch and Preston Sturges. I cannot imagine categorizing this film. It is not a pure comedy, although it provides moments of cleverness and humor. But there is also a significant element of dramatic tension. It is certainly no intellectual tour de force, however, it is much more than a way to while away 100 minutes (or whatever the length of the film is). It is not a morality play, although you might find something meaningful to take away with you. It is a finely crafted, subtly nuanced, multi-faceted film, mirroring its title character.

You might conclude from other opinions that Mumford (the character) is passive out of timidity or lack of purpose or even in order to preserve his anonymity. However, I believe he is passionate about his "profession" and has a very clear philosophy and purpose. I think his therapeutic prescriptions for his "patients" represent sympathetic, compassionate and very intentional interventions in their lives. However, his persona is low-key and his methods of intervention are indirect. Thus their dramatic impact seems to be just the natural consequence of the patients' living their own lives - just as the good doctor intends.

This kind of subtlety is in short demand and hence supply in the contemporary world of in-your-face computer generated special effects, one dimensional characters and unimaginative dialog. But, if you enjoy films like Grand Canyon, The Accidental Tourist, Local Hero and Passion Fish, you'll like this film. It is driven by a great balance of plot and well developed characters, played by a wonderful ensemble cast.
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8/10
"Dr." Mickey Mumford: A Likable Guy
ccthemovieman-117 April 2006
Now here is a different kind of story: a very low-key guy (Loren Dean) pretending to be a psychiatrist in a small town.

Dean does a fabulous job of portraying the soft-spoken, easy-going "shrink" and is so likable that he makes the film enjoyable.

There are a few spots that drag on too long, such as a few scenes with Hope Davis' character but the "patients" as a whole are certainly interesting and varied. This is another one of those films that got much press, and undeservedly-so because it's pretty entertaining with a good cast. In addition to the above, we see Alfre Woodard, Mary McDonnell, David Paymer, Martin Short and Ted Danson. If you are familiar with those actors, you'll know why a psychiatrist is needed!
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9/10
Funny, but I didn't laugh.
wjohargan30 July 2004
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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10/10
How can anyone not like this????
jbentongross25 August 2001
Mumford is a excellent movie, and really there's not much to it. It is a simple movie not relying on star power but good actors. The story is solid and very convincing, and the actors don't try to overplay their roles, Jason Lee is great as the town billion-aire/genius and he shows why he is such a good actor. This movie is a must see and must own.
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Making a difference
mermatt4 October 1999
This is an odd and interesting film about a man who has

the innate ability to listen to people. When he listens,

people reveal their secret lives and take off their masks.

This is the result of an almost Christ-like empathy that

he has. Yet, ironically, he himself doesn't want to face

himself.

The film makes that point that we are who we think we are.

It portrays Socrates' ancient motto "Know Thyself" in a

very entertaining and intriguing way. The film seems to

tell us that genuine human connection is the best form of

therapy. A thoughtful and thought-provoking movie -- see

it if you can.
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6/10
Quirky, tentative, unpredictable, lighthearted fun.
George Parker30 September 2000
"Mumford" is an unpretentious little romantic comedy with a softspoken, creative way of whetting curiosity and maintaining interest as it wends it's way through it's quirky but charming storyline. Sans the usual commercial "chick flick" schmaltz and boasting an R-rating, "Mumford" appears to refuse to compromise its freshness. A pleasant way to wile away 110 minutes.
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8/10
Not your typical comedy. Not your typical structure. ***1/2 out of ****
Movie-1230 September 1999
MUMFORD (1999) ***1/2

Starring: Loren Dean, Hope Davis, Jason Lee, Alfre Woodard, Martin Short, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Mary McDonnell, Zooey Deschanel, David Paymer, Jane Adams, and Ted Danson Written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan. 96 minutes Rated R (for sex-related images featuring nudity, drug content, and some language)

By Blake French:

"Mumford" is a cuddly little comedy production with a happy, uplifting atmosphere like the ones found in "Pleasantville" and "The Truman Show." Mumford is the name of a small fantasy town, filed with smiling people greeting each other on a daily basis, which is held in upheaval when a small time psychiatrist's true entity is revealed to his various patients.

I am getting ahead on myself, here. Before I can explain what happens after the characters discover the secrets about Mumford, the name of psychiatrist also, I must first give you some background information on the characters. The mismatched characters are eccentric and entertaining. They are developed though sessions with Mumford. To make things even more original for the movie is the lack of plot structure here. The conflicts, problems and solutions all exist in each individual character, not necessarily a situation they are placed into.

With Mumford included, here are the characters: Sofie Crisp, (Hope Davis), who is nearly bedridden after a severe and almost permanent loss of energy. Henry Follett (Pruitt Taylor Vince) whose mind is overflowing with wild and erotic sex fantasies, but he isn't featured in any of them. Skip Skipperton, (Jason Lee) a young, skateboarding corporate billionaire that is so lonely and without friends that he has spend the last several years designing robots to fit individual's sexual pleasures. Nessa Watkins, (Zooey Deschanel) who has social, smoking, relationship, and obsession issues. Lionel Dillard, (Martin Short) a lawyer who's disturbing images Mumford refuses to listen to. Jeremy Brockett (Ted Danson), who is great to himself but treats his family members like dirt. Dr. Ernest Delbanco (David Paymer) and Dr. Phyllis Sheeler (Jane Adams), the only other two mental health doctors in Mumford who question Mumford's creditability. And finally, there is the Mumford character himself, played by Loren Dean, who has such a compelling flashback sequence developing his entire life in five minutes effectively, we learn that this man also had some problems, he just was willing to turn his life around. This character alone makes the film worth while to see, for his mysterious past life is such a revealing subject that it is hard not to become intrigued.

There is much to like about "Mumford." There are the enormously entertaining characters, who are not puppets of the plot, but contain their own personal emotions and motives. A charming, imaginative atmosphere. The direction by Lawrence Kasdan is focused and organized; he seems to know exactly what he wants, and achieves it. The personal territory the film's story covers, a psychiatrist mind, as well as the thoughts of many disturbed individuals, is quite compelling. Also, I think there is an important message here, signifying the need of people to communicate to one another and how important it is to listen to each other--values everyone should have.

The conclusion to "Mumford" contains no big, extravagant climax. Nor does it completely bring the film's message to a direct close. It is a happy, petty ending in which almost everyone goes home happy, but still lets the imagination wonder. This ending only provides the fact that this is a character and mood movie, not a plot based movie. It ends how it needs to end, assuring this film will stick with the viewer for sometime to come.

Brought to you by Touchstone Pictures.
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10/10
A Total Delight
Sophianic31 January 2007
I just finished watching Mumford for the second time, and enjoyed it just as much this time around as I did when I first saw it two years ago. There is so much that is wholesome, humorous, and down-to-earth about this movie. The story revolves around a man with a gift for listening to others share their most intimate secrets. He arrives in the town of Mumford, sets up shop in a modest office, and begins the practice of listening to people's problems, gaining a reputation for being an effective listener among the good citizens of Mumford. Much of the story follows multiple, intertwining threads of lives lived, intimate secrets revealed, and romances started, all because of one man's ability to listen. On a repeat viewing of the movie, many scenes clicked for me that I didn't understand or appreciate the first time I watched it. Mumford is truly delightful and will appeal to those who know the meaning of "live and let live" and who believe in getting (and giving others) a second chance in life. The ending was absolute perfection - a total delight and incredibly refreshing.
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8/10
A great little find
Sweet_Ophelia15 October 2006
Dr. Mickey Mumford (Loren Dean) is a psychologist who ironically lives and works in the town of Mumford. Among his clientele are local chemist Henry Follett (Pruitt Taylor Vince) whose tasteful sexual fantasies have ruined his marriage, image-obsessed teen Nessa Watkins (Zooey Deschanel), kleptomaniac house-wife Althea Brockett (Mary McDonnell) and lonely billionaire Skip Skipperton (Jason Lee), whose electronics business keeps the town afloat. Mickey Mumford and his highly unorthodox techniques are extremely successful, but things begin to change and get complicated when he takes Sofie Crisp (Hope Davis) on board as a client and falls in love with her, while trying to cure her sleep deprivation.

'Mumford', written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan (The Bodyguard, The Big Chill) is a surprisingly great film. Really, this is just a very well-told story. Dr. Mumford's curious cases pull the film along, but those fragmented stories really wouldn't have been enough for 99 minutes… so when the film's big twist comes mid-way, it's a smooth transition from examining Mumford's patients and their crises to watching the problems of the doctor himself, and the way's he tries to deal with them.

Loren Dean, while not the typically charismatic protagonist, is oddly interesting as the humble and odd psychologist; and really does communicate a very relaxed persona, making it easy to see why people feel the need to confide in him. Zooey Deschanel is a great little secondary character, totally at ease and entertaining in her role as the off-beat misfit. My one complaint may be that the love story between Dr. Mumford and his patient Sofie isn't executed very well; there really isn't enough screen time given to the development of their budding feelings, and in fact most of their realizations about their feelings for one another come either off-screen or are explored individually, like when Dr. Mumford talks about his feelings for Sofie with patient and friend Skip Skipperton. Furthermore, there isn't much chemistry between Loren Dean and Hope Davis. Between Davis's sleep-deprived, baggy-eyed divorcée, Sofie and Dean's stony-calm Dr. Mumford; the romance is lackluster, at best. The film is only 99 minutes long, and I wish it was longer with more emphasis and development on the Dean/Davis romance.

I really enjoyed this film and was very glad I found it while looking through Zooey Deschanel's filmography. It's just a shame not more people know about it.
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10/10
I love this movie
suzanna24 February 2002
This is a just a plain old feel-good movie with lots of texture to it. The characters are believable and touched me deeply - I felt like I would like to know them for another few movies. One I could watch over and over if I watched the tube that much (which I don't). Agreat one for young teens as well.
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10/10
A symphony for the eyes.
Flicker-2114 September 2001
Being a long time admirer of Lawrence Kasdan's work (The Big Chill, Accidental Tourist, Grand Canyon), I was not surprised by the way this film swept me gracefully along in its gentle, intelligent way. This is a film that has more in common with a symphony than with a novel. How rare to find an American film these days that is so totally lacking in violence and melodrama while displaying such heart and humanity. What I love about Kasdan is the respect and compassion he shows for his characters, foibles and all. As the song goes, "If anyone should ever write my life story........", I want Lawrence Kasdan to make the film of my life! See this movie.
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9/10
Unfolding beauty
Bob__Loblaw4 December 2002
This movie like many others by directed by Lawrence Kasdan, (Silverado, Grand Canyon, Big chill), have a wonderful eclectic cast and real characters. He casts wonderfully gifted actors and gives them deep and authentic characters to flesh out. He also blends various story lines into an incredible weave of celluloid bliss. Mumford unfolds into this deep and layered beautiful story of what impact people have on each other. Whether they realize it or not.
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9/10
This is a GREAT film
oceanave13 June 2006
I was appalled when I saw that this movie had a budget of 28 million, yet it only did 4.5 at the box office. A shame. Kasdan cast the movie (almost) perfectly and everything else was superb as well. Super-original storyline, about people starting over again; photographed beautifully, and dead-on direction. Loren Dean is not a well-known actor, but he should be...and he should get more work than he gets. His performance is flawless, although at times it seems that he lacks energy...but maybe that was the way Kasdan wrote the character. Jason Lee is at his usual best...just listening to that guy talk, I realize how perfect his diction is. He makes the most out of the funny dialogue. Alfre Woodard plays the town cafe owner, Lily -jeez, I wish *I* had a neighbor like her! A young Zooey Deschanel does great as the town's bad high school girl who Mumford sees "pro bono" (or as she says, "pro boner?") If there is any weakness to "Mumford," I'd have to say it comes from Hope Davis. Her early scenes with Loren Dean are good and convincing, but as the story progresses, it all just seems to slip. By the end, it's as if she's really forcing the dialogue badly. Martin Short, Dave Paymer, and the supporting cast are great (including Ted Danson playing a rich idiot and Jason Ritter playing the stepson who hates him). Dana Ivey, playing Hope Davis' mother, is so rotten you can almost smell her! At a slightly long running time of 1 hour and 46 minutes, the audience definitely gets the entire picture of life in Mumford. Seems like a great little town.
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8/10
The shrink
jotix1007 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Lawrence Kasdan's "Mumford" is a film that could have been done by Frank Capra in another time. Mr. Kasdan created an enigmatic man, Dr. Mickey Mumford, who appears in the small town out of nowhere. He quickly goes to become an indispensable person in the community with his no-nonsense approach to psychiatry.

Mumford touches the lives of the people that come to him seeking his advice. Among the people he helps, there is Sofie Crisp, a young woman suffering from depression and some sort of fatigue syndrome that renders her unfit to live her life to the fullest. With Mumford's help, she begins her daily walks as she gains confidence and opens up to see what is out there.

The film opens with a black and white sequence that is a fantasy being played in the mind of Henry. We realize it's only his mind wandering as he is not capable of doing what he dreams about. There is also the young millionaire who is one of the richest men in the country because his firm produces modems for computers and who doesn't care to show his eccentric side for all to see.

Mumford's cover is finally revealed when an episode of the television program "Unsolved Mysteries" in which he is showcased. The town of Mumford, instead of condemning him, rallies in its support of a man that has done more in his humble way to help the community in spite of his deceit.

"Mumford" is a delightful movie thanks to Loren Dean, who plays the title role. Mr. Dean does a wonderful work. Hope Davis is also a charming presence in the picture. The large supporting cast has some brilliant faces in it, Alfre Woodard, Jason Lee, Mary McDonnell, Pruitt Taylor Vance, Martin Short, Jane Adams, David Paymer, and Ted Danson, among them.

The film's success belongs to Lawrence Kasdan whose brilliant take on a man who is a fake, but who has seen into the hearts of the people he has decided to settle in.
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10/10
A Great Little Movie
donlhumphries13 February 2002
This is a great little movie, with a good ensemble cast who all give value. What is a doctor? Someone who heals people! This film struck just the right spot with me, so I'm giving it 10 out of 10; just my opinion, of course....
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10/10
how to choose a therapist
jonnyss14 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
this is a wonderful movie with some great lessons about what good psychotherapy can look like. (i am a psychiatrist, and i teach psychotherapy to psychology and psychiatry trainees).

OK, he's learning on the job, so he makes a few mistakes here and there (e.g. confidentiality). but he is intuitive, kind, caring, present, and natural - in contrast with the psychiatrist and the other psychologist in town, both of whom are stylized in the all-too-common "therapist" way).

if he worked in my town, i'd refer patients to him. if your therapist feels and sounds like the psychiatrist in the film, go find a mumford.

oh, and the film is fun, entertaining, hopeful - yet not all fun and games; there's a bit of a dark side.
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9/10
Well, well written.
rzajac7 November 2011
A fantastic flick. I guess I can recommend it as a date flick because it's not only romantic, but also romantic... in the larger sense. If you like a good story and intelligent dialog you'll dig Mumford.

It cleverly interweaves trenchant and even poignant characterizations and scenes with carefully directed, measured comic punch.

This is one of the best film shills for psychoanalysis I've ever seen. I know Mumford makes light of the professionalism of Western shrinks, but I think there's an important message here for people who are seeking professional help. This message is: If you don't feel it happening, you have to throw the situation over and keep seeking. I believe Mumford succeeds in pushing the bar for mental health a little higher.

Watch attentively and enjoy!
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8/10
Mum's not the word here; tell everyone that Mumford is vastly enjoyable
Amy Adler15 April 2010
In the "out west" town of Mumford, a new therapist has opened an office. Coincidentally, his name is Dr. Mumford (Loren Dean) and he is soon quite popular, due to his insightful and caring approach. Among his patients are a shopaholic wife (Mary McDonnell), an uptight lawyer (Martin Short), a troubled teen (Zooey Deschanel), a sex-fantasy-crazed pharmacist, a lonely CEO (Jason Lee) and a beautiful woman, Sofie (Hope Davis), who has a severe case of chronic fatigue syndrome and lives with her overbearing mother (Dana Ivey) and kind father. The doctor himself walks everywhere in the small town and lives in an apartment above a lovely chef (Alfre Woodard). But, one day, Dr. Mumford gives the obnoxious lawyer a sort of "boot out the door", telling him he can't really help him with his problems. Angry, the lawyer starts to investigate the doctor's credentials, from schooling to former practices. Could it be that Dr. Mumford may not be who he seems? Also, as it is unethical for a therapist to romance a patient, what will happen to the brewing interest between the shrink and Sofie? This is a beautiful and enjoyable film that is most likely not extremely popular with the professional psychology crowd, as it ponders what is therapy and who is qualified to give counsel. But, what a delightful bunch of neurotic folks who inhabit the town of Mumford! They are brought to life wonderfully by the outstanding cast, every one of them, from Dean to Davis to Lee and all of the others. Then, also, the setting is extremely fetching, for the small city is located in a lovely valley. Add on nice costumes, an imaginative script, and a smooth direction and, folks, we have a winner here. No one will be mum about the film after a showing but, instead, most will be likely to tell anyone who will listen about its many charms.
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9/10
Trust is what it's about
PWNYCNY3 August 2007
What a wonderful, charming, interesting and original movie. Indeed this movie is a surprise. How can this charming movie go unnoticed? What is it about Hollywood that invests it with the talent to create such an entertaining movie and then practically cast it aside with all the other wonderful movies that fail to catch on with the public? The movie's plot revolves around issues of trust that transcend usual professional bounds and suggests that sometimes the most effective therapists are those without the degrees. Also, this movie contains some excellent acting, especially by Loren Dean who plays the title role. Mr. Dean's performance is a tour de force, yet is unrecognized for reasons unknown. However there is at least one person who appreciates his performance, meaning me, and if others watch this movie maybe others will appreciate Mr. Dean's performance, and the movie, too.
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10/10
Psychologists and the Psychology Theme
mathmaniac21 March 2007
I watched 'Mumford' again recently. It has been years since the last viewing. It has held up very well; it is still a good movie.

All of the criticisms about it in comments have been well-founded. It is slow-paced and even-paced. That is both good and bad. There was a preview for 'Gone in 60 Seconds' on the video tape that showed a frantic-paced movie that probably did better at the box office but I will bet was not as well written or as well-acted (Angelina Jolie is in 'Gone...', need I say more about the acting quality?) Pace may get your adrenaline flowing while your sitting in your seat but it doesn't do anything for your brain cells. Mumford engages you intellectually.

It is challenging to the viewer to believe that a billionaire computer mogul - skateboarder can practically own a town and move about as freely and anonymously as he does in this movie. Jason Lee is just the person to have that role, though. He portrays the eternal adolescent in a lot of movies (it would be difficult to watch him play an assassin or a pederast; he picks the roles that he can handle and as a reward, he now anchors a very successful sitcom).

The pace and some credibility issues aside, this movie is a pleasure to watch. Everything about the movie shares a harmony with its subject which is basically psychology.

I read somewhere that Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) on the Sopranos was recommended to psychiatrists-in-training as the model for a focused listener, which is what a shrink is. Mickey Mumford (Loren Dean) is right up there with her as an exemplary professional when it comes to listening. In contrast, Dr. Melfi is even a little too tense and rigid (in keeping with her character, to Lorraine Bracco's credit as a fine actress). Mumford is simultaneously relaxed and alert; really, I could watch him sit still forever and be endlessly fascinated by the blink of his eyes (there is a scene where he acknowledges the sexiness of his young patient Nessa with the faintest of smiles and a slow blink; an absolutely stunning expression with almost no movement in his body language).

I think I developed quite a crush on Loren Dean just watching him sit across from his patients.

Because the character Mumford is so brilliant, he can be forgiven his few lapses in professionalism. When we first see Mary McDowell come into his office, he has just told Martin Short to leave his office and never come back. He is calm about it but he insists that he doesn't want to see him in his office again and Mary McDowell is witness to that speech. As he brings her into the office, he comments about Martin Short, 'Jeez, what an asshole!' and Mary McDowell laughs delightedly as we watch her back while she heads towards the couch.

When he discusses his patients' problems with Jason Lee, making Lee feel uncomfortable, you sense that he's sharing his patients' dilemmas sympathetically, not revealing their weaknesses. If others don't see it that way, it is not his concern; he relates to people on a plane that doesn't share space with legal, professional ethics.

Which is all the more surprising when you find out later in the movie about his background story.

Every character (with Lily being the only possible exception) has a psychological profile that fits the story's needs and rings true. The underlying message might be, 'Everyone has problems; even your shrink has problems!' The movie never veers from that message. The feel-good addendum to that is: 'And by sharing and exploring your problems, you can have a better life.' That is true about every single character.

The way that Loren Dean sits in a chair, the way he listens, the intense but relaxed attitude he has while absorbing all the details of his clients - is inspiring. He has feelings, you never lose track of that fact, evidenced by his choice to suddenly shout at a patient when he thinks the patient's self-deception is so egregious that someone SHOULD shout at him.

Lawrence Kasdan made a wonderful little film; much much better than any of his others (Grand Canyon and The Big Chill aren't half as nice).
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10/10
Great movie!
munteanu-antonio11 December 2006
Loved the story, loved the characters, everything!

This movie is a great fable on redemption, on getting a second chance, on finding who you are and doin' what you're good at.

I'm surprised Mr. Dean didn't get himself a shot at stardom following his performance.

Mr. Kasdan has done a good job as well, both as a director and as a writer.

In the end it just gives you hope anyone can be fixed should people have the patience to listen to each other and be confident enough to spit their issues out.
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8/10
What Exactly Constitutes Being A Psychologist?
gradyharp14 October 2006
MUMFORD is a delicious little film from 1999 written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill, Grand Canyon, The Accidental Tourist, Silverado, etc) who as usual poses some interesting questions as to our contemporary take on concepts. It is a quiet, beautifully acted ensemble film that wears well indeed.

Mumford (the underused Loren Dean) is a man with a variegated past who settles into a little town by the name of Mumford, decides he will listen to people talk, be a sounding board for folks who are in need of communication in this basically non-communicative world, and becomes a 'Psychologist' in every sense of the word - the good sense. The manner in which he listens to the many people within the little town is mesmerizing and insightful and the citizens he encounters and assists are varied and beautifully sculpted vulnerable human beings. The fine cast includes Hope Davis, Jason Lee (in one his finest roles), Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, Zooey Deschanel, Martin Short, David Paymer, Kevin Tighe, Ted Danson, Jason Ritter and even more.

The dialogue is introspective, healing, edgy, and entertaining and the overall feeling left with the viewer at the end of the piece is one of wishing more 'Mumfords' would be around our neighborhoods - or rather that we all could become 'Mumfords' with a little conviction and concern for our fellow beings. This is a Kasdan concept movie that touches our hearts while it stimulates our brains. Grady Harp
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