Patch Adams (1998)

(On VHS, February 2000) This film approaches unbearability by its callous usage of mental patients, cancerous children and personal grief in order to build a “heartwarming tale of life”. The treatment of the girlfriend character, killed by some random psychotic in order for the main character to have his own crisis of faith, is particularity repulsive. Robin Williams is insufferable when he dons his false saccharine personality. The script compounds bad taste with dumb one-sidedness, painting Hero Patch’s enemies with a Pure Evil brush. The central thesis of the film (“medicine is cold and uncaring”) is actually correct, but the scriptwriters completely missed that this is order for physicians to protect themselves against burnout. Gee, why isn’t that covered in the film? Oh right; all doctors are evil! The film quickly becomes an intellectual tug-of-war between its loathsome manipulative intentions and our own innate intelligence. The viewer can win, but the battle leaves unhealthy mental scars.

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