Patch Adams is a drama-comedy film based on the real life story of Hunter “Patch” Adams, an attempted suicide who turns himself into a psychiatric hospital and discovers he wants to become a doctor. So in the early ’70s he attends medical school where his love for relationships with the patients brings much happiness and controversy in the hospital/school. Starring Robin Williams, Daniel London, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Monica Potter. Directed by Marc Shadyac, Written by Steve Oedekerk, based on the book Gesundheit: Good Health is a Laughing Matter by Adams and and Maureen Mylander. (Running Time: 115 minutes)(Rated PG-13)
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Ladies and gentlemen, I have to say that this is a pretty darn good movie. It is one of the few movies that has made me feel genuinely–well, happy! I mean, not the kind of Toy Story and the Lion King happy, I’m talking about a weird, shifting feeling inside that makes you just keep on smiling after you watch the movie.
One of the reasons for this movie to make me happy I think has a lot to do with Robin Williams and his tremendous acting abilities. He is a very gifted actor, I deserved an Academy Award for some of his nominated films (like, The Fischer King, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society). He won Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting, but why that film of all his dramas? He did a pretty good job in the movie, yes, but it wasn’t his greatest.
Well, moving onward…
…Williams does an excellent job as acting with his eyes. I appreciate actors who can do so many things with their eyes. Daniel Day-Lewis shows this in many of his films; he as an intensity that is quite frightening at times. Liam Neeson has a powerful stare. Robin Williams does a great job of showing the pain and hurt of his character through his eyes. You can’t help but feel sorry for whatever he has seen. Robin Williams has been asked if he is a method actor before, and he dodges the subject, but says he just “gathers whatever I can from wherever I can!” Wherever he gets this stuff from, I wish I could find out how to harness it, then I would have a chance in the acting business.
The story is very touching at times; and funny. It was written fairly well, I would dare say. But along with the story, its Robin’s acting that moves the moving along.
The film was shot over four months, in various indoor locations in California, but the movie’s backdrop in North Carolina, near the real location of the 105 acre Gesundheit Institute where Patch Adams is at work today. It was filmed on a large budget of $90 and met with negative reviews from critics (which I think is not right), but went to gross over $200 million at the box office, becoming a commercial success. Despite negative reviews, it managed to be nominated for Best Picture and Best Actor at the Golden Globes, and went on to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score.
Oh, I’d give it a 6 out of 7 stars.
Ah, a good movie. Recommended!