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General: Major Films  
TitlePatch Adams (1998)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityGeneral
CountryUSA
Length115
GenreTrue story
Rating2
DirectorTom Shadyac
CastRobin Williams Monica Potter Daniel London Peter Coyote Philip Seymour Hoffman
NotesPatch Adams even while a medical student believes that doctors should have more interaction with patients. Nobody could object to that unless it was frivolous or they got involved in a way that warped their medical judgment. Two things about Adams are different from most medical students. Firstly he was many years previously a mental patient. He committed himself after attempting suicide. Secondly following his release and enrolling as a medical student he was forty years old. He becomes a student at Virginia Medical University where for two years or so students have no contact with patients. Adams rebells against this 'injunction'. Adams' holistic approach to patient care is to make them laugh. Some of this involves clowning with child patients and telling off-colour jokes to older patients. Much of this for the audience isn't very amusing and appears more of a vehicle for Williams to indulge himself. And when he jibes at the system his targets appear to be straw men. The film centres so on Adams that when one patient is dying his family leave and Adams is the only person at the dying man's side. The 'lecture' at the finale in court is simply awful and this is capped when lots of kids in wheelchairs with red noses are rolled into the court and the music soars to the heavens. It's perhaps worth mentioning that once again we have here a romance between a man and a woman half his age. I don't think there is anything to learn from this film. For a better approach with fewer histrionics see William Hurt in The Doctor

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