Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Blair Brown; Christopher Eigeman; Peter Hermann; Ian Holm; Elizabeth Hubbard; Famke Janssen; Roger Rees; Harris Yulin; Stephen Lang; Stephanie March
Director: Oren Rudavsky
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Jake Singer is an anxious young schoolteacher living in New York. He is barely on speaking terms with his father, recently abandoned by his girlfriend, and heading for a life of compromise and mediocrity at a prestigious ... more »
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A romantic comedy that doesn't insult its audience
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 08/21/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
Commitment-phobic characters are a dime a dozen in romantic comedies. Yet, no one can deny that they serve a valid function - for without all the tension they bring to the story, how would writers ever get us to that inevitable happily-ever-after ending?
In "The Treatment," which director Oren Rudavsky co-adapted (with Daniel Saul Housman) from the novel by Daniel Menaker, Jake Singer is an English teacher at a Manhattan prep school who falls in love with a wealthy widow whose son is a pupil there. The problem is that Jake, like many men of his generation, seems utterly paralyzed when it comes to taking the full-on plunge into commitment and marriage. In an attempt to overcome this weakness, he regularly sees a shrink who is clearly an advocate of the no-nonsense, "tough love" school of psychotherapy, and who keeps insisting that Jake stop whining and making excuses for himself and simply get with the program.
On the surface, "The Treatment" doesn't appear to be much different from dozens of other romantic comedies that have come our way over the years, but the scenario plays out with so much charm and wit that it makes the situation itself seem new and fresh. We really get caught up in the lives of these characters, mainly because the filmmakers go to great lengths to avoid the superficialities and cliches that render so many romantic comedies phony and unreal. The film is helped immeasurably in this regard by the superb performances by Chris Eigeman and Famke Janssen who have an amazing chemistry on screen and, thus, are able to convince us that these two quite different people could indeed be genuinely drawn to one another. Ian Holm steals every scene he's in as the hilariously deadpan therapist who isn't afraid to say what he thinks, even at those times when he's only appearing as a figment of Jake's guilt-ridden imagination. Harris Yulin is also wonderful as Jake's pragmatic father who still harbors resentment towards his son for not following in his footsteps and becoming a doctor.
Given its low budget, the movie may be a trifle rough around the edges at times, but that lack of polish actually turns out to be a key ingredient in the movie's overall success. For once, a romantic comedy that actually works."
A Worthy Romantic Comedy
Chad A. B. Wilson | Houston, TX | 04/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the first review that says that this is a romantic comedy that doesn't insult its audience, but I think it deserves at least one more star for being able to do that. The film is quite delightful, even for someone like me who detests the typical romantic comedy.
This one rises above, mostly due to Ian Holm's portrayal as a Freudian analyst seeing the "neurotic" Jake. The guy is GREAT in this film, and his discussions with Jake, whether real or imagined, are what elevates the film above mediocrity.
When people write about the film, they tend to call the main character neurotic. Maybe it's because I'm neurotic, too, but Jake doesn't seem all that neurotic. He seems pretty much normal (yes, I realize that it's saying more about me than about him), and I actually like the guy. I would like to be friends with him. Maybe that's why I like the film, where he ends up getting the pretty girl.
Another reason why I like The Treatment is because of the dialogue, which is consistently strong and witty. It's not like an episode of Gilmore Girls - The Complete First Season, because the dialogue is a bit more believable, but the characters are all smart and sarcastic, so it make it enjoyable to talk to them. I mean, to listen to them. Ahem...
So if you're looking for a good date movie, guys, this one is better than most. Recommend it to your significant other, and she will think you're "deep.""
Love in an upscale NYC
Reader | Boca Raton, FL | 09/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jake Singer is a school teacher in an upscale private boy's school in Manhattan. His students are cordial and smart and even when they misbehave, they are not too difficult to handle. Jake teaches literature and at times seems to draw a parallel between great literary works of Camus and Chekov to his own. He finds out that his ex-girlfriend is getting married and is crushed about it. He realizes that he had no relationship or emotional attachment for a year and to better understand himself starts therapy. His therapist is a student of Freud and seems to see a lot in a fact that Jake's mother has died when Jake was a young boy and Jake's relationship with his father who is a doctor is strained. We only can assume that his father was disappointed about Jake's choice of profession and that is the cause of their mutual resentment. By coincidence, Jake meets at school a parent, a young widow who is adoptive mother of two young children. They start a relationship that is a complicated one. Widow is well off, young and pretty and totally devoted to her adoptive children. Jake barely makes ends meet and is resigned in living in a small apartment, spending the rest of his life teaching literature to young boys in hope that he can shape their character for the future. Would these two people ever make it together as a couple, let alone as a husband and wife? You will have to see this movie to make that decision on your own. Lots of fine humor in this film and cast is very good."