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(Review originally written at 21 May 2005)

Yes, I know this movie is based on the real life of Patch Adams but all the events in the movie feel over-the-top and highly unlikely that they really occurred. Its the reason why the dramatic scene's in the movie simply didn't worked for me.

First of all, I couldn't even always sympathize for the main character Patch Adams played by Robin Williams (sometimes he's a bit over-the-top in some dramatic scene's but overall he gives a very solid performance.). I mean seriously, Patch Adams really pushes it at times and simply goes too far in his methods. I even found myself on the side of Dean Walcott (a very typical Bob Gunton stereotype role ala "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Glory".), at times. It is not a good sign for a drama when you couldn't even always sympathize for the main character. This alone is already a reason for why this drama is a failure.

All of the events in the movie felt highly unlikely and unrealistic. No way you can convince me that some dying 70 year old could be entertained by a bunch of balloons. Yes, there really were some 'dramatic' scene's in the movie that simply made me cringe. Its the kind of drama that is really embarrassing to look at. The drama in the movie is very childish and way too cliché. There even is room for a misplaced, unneeded and highly unbelievable love-story.

The music by Marc Shaiman is also a reason why the drama in the movie doesn't work. I mean I'm sure that the score is great to listen to outside of the movie (I mean after all, it was even nominated for an Oscar.) but in the movie itself it simply doesn't work. It's such a stereotypical and over-the-top drama score! Basically it's the same tune over and over again in every of the 'dramatic' scene's. It was really distracting for me at times.

It's funny but in the few scene's that he's in Philip Seymour Hoffman truly absolutely the show. How long before this guy will win his Oscar? Yes every scene that he was in was a highlight for me. This movie is really a waste of a great cast. Its not the cast their fault that the drama doesn't work, I think its director's Tom Shadyac, who manages to deliver the drama in an highly unlikely and unbelievable manner. He should stick to making comedies, me thinks!

A big failure as a movie and drama in many ways...

3/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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