An Uplifting Tale Of The Human Spirit
Zachary Koenig | Forest Lake, MN | 07/24/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are some true-life tales that go beyond the standard fare to uplift and inspire viewers. The story of Hunter "Patch" Adams, despite a bit of contrived theatrics, is exactly that sort of film.
For a basic plot summary, this moive tells the story of Mr. Adams, beginning with his time in a mental institution for suicidal thoughts. However, after a life-changing experience in that facility, Patch decides to devote his life to helping people, choosing medicine as his vehicle. The rest of the film focuses on Patch's time in medical school, including his "unorthodox" (treat the patient, not the disease) approach that bucks the standard, as well as the free medical clinic he starts out of his own home after being sickened by the medical bureaucracy.
Whichever way you shake it, the Patch Adams story is one of hope and inspiration. At times, director Tom Shadyac goes a bit too over-the-top for my tastes, but for some it will help to hammer home the point.
In terms of casting, it is Robin Williams' movie to carry, and he does so admirably with his unique brand of humor and character. Some of the other casting decisions (like Philip Seymour Hoffman as a med. student) were a bit sketchy, but Williams steals the show from the opening act.
Thus, I would recommend this movie to all but the most hardened cynics (who might not appreciate some of the theatrics). It will make you laugh, cry, and cheer in equal proportions."