Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sensational beyond description and thought confusing, 1 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Patch Adams [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
My mate lent me Hard Target on DVD starring Jean Claude Van Damme, when I opened the case there was the Patch Adams DVD instead. Rage doesn't begin to describe my emotions at that time. Was it a simple mix up as this is the second time it has happened? Not sure but I watched it anyway.

It was sensational beyond description and thought confusing. It has to be said though I had had a few drinks before watching this because I was annoyed about the JVD thing, so my memory in regard to some of the details of the movie are hazy at best.

I don't know whether to describe this film as a comedy, medical drama or a horror film. Certainly I screamed when Patch loomed out from the huge amount of balloons he was hiding in to swoop down on his prey - a young college girl. Amazingly she said she would marry him. I remember thinking he must have slipped some 'medication' in her drink. Actually that's tight, Patch is a nice guy but quite annoying and a lot older than the girl. I thought he was more of a father figure to her. I should have known though that he wanted to get in her pants. I know what he's like, Robin Williams was the same in bicentennial man, he's supposed to be a robot but again gets with some hotty who is human, robots aren't supposed to do that, the guys sex crazed.

Anyway the storey, which apparently is true, is about a doctor in America (don't think George Clooney because Patch is so unlike Dr. Doug Ross it's unreal). Dr Patch Adams is his name and he believes laughter is the best medicine, a philosophy which is interestingly shared by the editor of the Readers Digest. I have my doubts, but it's a nice idea.

Instead of spending his spare hours reading medical journals and going through case notes with other doctors Patch prefers to clown around the hospital acting the goat. Sometimes I wondered how I would feel if I was prescribed medication by a man who acted like he was the main event at a children's party. Actually I find is astonishing that he's a qualified doctor. I don't know about everyone else but if I was diagnosed by Patch as having a terminal illness and when I sat down to collect my thoughts I sat on a whoopee cushion I think I might snap. I would demand a second opinion or at least check with the nurse that he new what he was doing. Actually I might be imagining this but I thought some of the nurses weren't sure about Patch themselves and looked worried he would do something inappropriate. I also thought one of them fancied me which now I'm sober I accept is totally ridiculous so maybe I am over analysing the situation. Seriously though look at the DVD cover, you can see he can't be trusted.

Part way through the movie I was convinced that Patch was clinically insane and maybe was a patient of the hospital himself and only the audience and Patch were unaware of this. That would have been a great twist and I smugly announced to my girlfriend that this was in fact the case. Unfortunately the director didn't have this foresight and it was slightly embarrassing later when the credits rolled and Patch still wasn't sectioned.

The girl I mentioned at the beginning who marries patch gets killed halfway though the film by some head case. This made me so angry I really got behind Patch even though previously he was getting on my nerves. Straight away though I questioned whether he was up to the job of exacting
revenge. My suspicions were confirmed as he decides to leave the matter to the authorities and builds a free hospital instead. I bet the authorities went soft on him. I found this extremely upsetting at first but then I realised that Patch is a doctor and that makes him different from you and me. I'll be honest I would have annihilated the guy and probably tortured him and I'm ashamed to admit that the free hospital probably wouldn't have happened under my leadership. I would have built instead a fortress to defend myself from any backlash. Obviously this would been a much better movie, however would it be the right thing to do? These are the questions that doctors have to ask themselves every day.

In the end this movie was an emotional roller-coaster with highs of me thinking Patch was an alight guy and lows of screaming at him which upset my girlfriend which made me even more annoyed at him for upsetting her. I think what the movie is trying to say is that even though guys like Steven Siegal, Vin Diesal and Arnie are better at kicking arse and resolving conflicts you still need guys like Patch around even if his movies aren't any good a bit like Ghandi.
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