Patch Adams raises two schools of thought: There are those who are inspired by the true story of a troubled man who finds happiness in helping others--a man set on changing the world and who may well accomplish the task. A... more »nd then there are those who feel manipulated by this feel-good story, who want to smack the young medical student every time he begins his silly antics.
Staving off suicidal thoughts, Hunter Adams commits himself into a psychiatric ward, where he not only garners the nickname "Patch," but learns the joy in helping others. To this end, he decides to go to medical school, where he clashes with the staid conventions of the establishment as he attempts to inject humor and humanity into his treatment of the patients ("We need to start treating the patient as well as the disease," he declares throughout the film). Robin Williams, in the title role, is as charming as ever, although someone should tell him to broaden his range--the ever-cheerful do-gooder à la Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets Society is getting a little old. His sidekick Truman (Daniel London) steals the show with his gawky allure and eyebrows that threaten to overtake his lean face--he seems more real, which is odd considering that Patch Adams does exist and this film is based on his life. Monica Potter is the coolly reluctant love interest, and she makes the most of her one-dimensional part. While moments of true heartfelt emotion do come through, the major flaw of this film is that the good guys are just so gosh-darn good and the bad ones are just big meanies with no character development. Patch Adams, though, does provide the tears, the giggles, and the kooky folks who will keep you smiling at the end. --Jenny Brown« less
Gain inspiration & wisdom while you're entertained!
Groovy Vegan | USA | 02/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robin Williams' portrayal of Dr. Patch Adams' medical school adventures was both entertaining and inspiring. Although Williams' comic genius shined through in his physical humor of clowning around (e.g. entertaining sick children by dancing with bedpans on his feet, an enema bulb on his nose and an IV stand as a dance partner) as well as quick verbal banter, the comedy is only part of Williams' acting repertoire and movie's appeal. Having seen Robin Williams mostly in interviews where he seemed to be spending every second trying to be funny, I was amazed at his ability to not only be serious, but to convincingly portray a spectrum of non-comic emotions/conditions: shock, grief, guilt, frustration, anger. All was not fun and games in the medical school education of Patch Adams, as he dealt with personal issues, personality clashes and the difficulties of trying change the institution of medicine without getting thrown out of medical school. I also enjoyed the work of the supporting cast of fellow medical students, instructors, administrators, nurses and patients. One especially amusing character was Patch Adams' pompous, roommate Mitch, played with a straight face by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Seeing Adams' effect on the people he knew over time was enjoyable and heartwarming, yet realistic: some warmed up immediately, some over time, and a few, unfortunately, not at all. But what makes this movie 5 stars is that combined with the good acting and entertainment value, many life's lessons are portrayed. Here are just a few of many. The value of:
* treating patients (and all people) as individuals with feelings, dreams, interests and talents to improve their quality of life, regardless of whether one can cure a disease.
* patience, kindness, persistence, humor and imagination in dealing with personality conflict.
* having a dream, believing in yourself, and selling that vision to others who can help you manifest it.
* having the persistence to deal with obstacles that get in the way of manifesting one's dream.
* having the courage to speak and act out against injustice, even at considerable personal risk.It's well worth watching this movie to gain wisdom from Patch Adams' life while being entertained by Robin Williams and a host of fine actors. However, those a expecting fast paced movie with lots of adventures and subplots may be disappointed."
Groovy Vegan | 12/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robin Williams gives an outstanding performance. It's touching, funny, and a whole lot cleaner than most movies today. Someone said that this movie showed people being murdered, blaspheming God, and showed you how to have sex. None of this is true. A girl *is* murdered, but you don't see anything at all and don't even know that until way after it happens. She is murdered by a severely insecure man who then kills himself, but you don't see this or even see their bodies afterwards. God is not really blasphemed, but there is one part where Patch sits on a cliff and talks to God about why things had to happen that way, and he considers commiting suicide. But this doesn't happen. And for the life of me I have no idea where they showed or even mentioned sex! The absolute closest thing to that would be at the end when he graduates from medical school... I don't want to give it away because it is hilarious, but don't worry, it's not dirty or nasty. I wouldn't recommend you watch it in front of very very sensitive children, because naturally since it is set in hospital life, there are a couple deaths and serious moments. But there's nothing really bad about this movie. Anyway, after setting that straight: This is one of the greatest movies of all time. It's not one you can watch over and over and over again, as I like to do with most movies, but set viewings several months apart and you will enjoy this movie a lot. ;) It is a life-changing experience."
Meet a doctor who doesn't look, act, or think like a doctor!
Stephen Pletko | London, Ontario, Canada | 02/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
This movie is based on the book "Gesundheit: Good Health is a Laughing Matter" by Hunter Doherty Adams with Maureen Mylander.
Mike Farrell of "M*A*S*H" fame was one of the producers of this movie.
This movie is also based on the true story of Hunter "Patch" Adams.
At the movie's beginning we are taken to the psychiatric ward of a hospital in 1969. We discover here how Hunter Adams (Robin Williams) gets his unique nickname of "Patch" and why he decides to become a medical doctor.
Two years later he goes to medical school where he encounters, among other things, a snobby roommate named Mitch (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a very traditional medical school dean (Bob Gunton), meets a fellow medical student named Truman (Daniel London) who becomes his good friend, and as well meets a stand-offish female medical student Corinne (Monica Potter) who eventually sees his point of view with respect to medicine.
Patch's antics at the hospital where he learns to become a doctor are hilarious. (These antics almost get him kicked out of medical school.) But there is a method to his madness as he wants to humanize medicine. His underlying philosophy is:
"A doctor's mission should be not just to prevent death but also to improve the quality of life [of patients]."
He eventually has a brainstorm of building a free clinic called the "Gesundheit Institute" and to get started he starts a free clinic while still attending medical school.
A tragedy occurs but Patch is able to overcome it.
The movie ends by giving the viewer the following information:
"During the next twelve years, Patch Adams opened a home-based family medical practice and treated more than 15,000 people without payment, malpractice insurance, or formal facilities...construction of the Gesundheit Hospital is currently underway. To date , a waiting list of over 1000 physicians have offered to leave their current practice and join Patch's cause."
All the acting is good but Robin Williams as Patch gives an interesting performance. Even though he delivers sidesplitting humor, I felt that it wasn't over-the-top and is balanced quite well with the inspiring, dramatic, and true story. I was also surprised by Daniel London's excellent performance as Truman, Patch's sidekick. Monica Potter's Corinne character is somewhat one-dimensional but she makes the best of it. Philip S. Hoffman also does a good job as the serious medical student named Mitch.
I also enjoyed the background music. It adds to each scene of the movie.
Some people (including Roger Ebert) don't seem to like this movie. However, according to Amazon's "Theatrical Release Information" (see above), this movie whose budget estimate was $50 million has taken in $194 million worldwide garnering a profit of almost $145 million. So the big question is, "Why don't some people not like this movie." The main reason, I think, is that (believe-it-or-not) some people are satisfied with the traditional medical system as it is today and don't like anything (such as this movie) that criticizes it. Thus, I would not recommend this movie to such traditionalists.
Finally, the DVD (collector's edition) has excellent picture and sound quality. There are a few extras, all of them interesting.
In conclusion, this is an inspiring movie based on a true story that effectively displays Robin Williams' comic and dramatic talents. It is not to be missed!!
(1998; 1 hr,50 min; widescreen)
Laughter is the best medicine
retrowens | Alabama, USA | 12/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Patch Adams" is truly a great movie in every way. Robin Williams plays as Patch Adams, a doctor who tries to be more than just a doctor to his patients, he tries to be a friend by making them laugh and by getting to know them personally. With his sense of humor, Patch Adams isn't like any other doctor. Doctors are known to be all business and to mainly be stuck up and to just get to the facts and then that's all. Therefore, when some of the people, mainly his roomate and the person who owns the hospital, notice Patch Adams's antics, they get angry about the way he does his job and they let him know about it. On the other hand, many of the doctors and nurses like Patch and think he is great for the hospital. But one thing's for sure, ALL of the patients like Patch a lot. Even though Patch is pretty old to be in medical school, he makes friends fast and develops a real important relationship with one of the female students at the school. "Patch Adams" is one of the best all around movies I've ever seen and in my opinion, it's Robin Williams's best movie by far. Like usual Robin Williams is hilarious while he's doing his antics in the movie, especially when he uses a skeleton to talk to the woman he likes. But even better, he does his humorous tricks in the movie and gets to know the patients and the other people with a real passion and understanding that shines through and makes this Robin Williams's best effort ever, in my opinion. Going to the doctor might not be such a hassle or a burden if there were more doctors like Patch Adams. "Patch Adams" is an inspirational and heartwarming movie that I recommend anybody to watch. Whether you like comedy movies, drama, or any type of movie, I recommend giving "Patch Adams" a try. It's hard to put into words how great this movie really is."
I've actually met Dr. Hunter "Patch" Adams
jagwire | 02/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The movie isn't quite true to Dr. Adam's reality, there are some dramatic elements added, for instance his midlife crisis actually happened while he was 18, as I was told by him.However this movie isn't supposed to be a biography, but rather an entertaining movie, and it does that well.With Robin Williams familliar humor this movie engages the audience to see not just the over used concept of the healing power of laughter; but more so the power of connection, of sharing the human experience. This movie suggests that it isn't enough to just bring your skills to this difficult proffession, but also to take yourself along also. We're all human beings, and we need to treat people with the dignity and compassion we treat ourselves with. This movie seems to say, to me, that there's nothing wrong with admiting to our shared humanity. This is a powerfull concept...In any case beyond the ideals suggested, this movie is a light and warm hearted escaped about dealing with life, and overcomming obstacles. I for one recommend this movie."