Patch Adams

Laughter is contagious
Laughter is contagious
D: Tom Shadyac 
Universal/Blue Wolf (Barry Kemp, Mike Farrell, Marvin Minoff & Charles Newirth)
US 1998
115 mins


W: Steve Oedekerk [based on the book "Gesundheit - Good Health Is A Laughing Matter" by Hunter Doherty Adams]
DP: Phedon Papamichael
Ed: Don Zimmerman
Mus: Marc Shaiman

Robin Williams (Dr. Hunter 'Patch' Adams), Daniel London (Truman Schiff), Monica Potter (Carin Fisher), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Mitch Roman), Bob Gunton (Dean Walcott), Peter Coyote (Bill Davis), Josef Sommer (Dr. Eaton), Irma P. Hall (Joletta), Frances Lee McCain (Judy)

A doctor attempts to promote his theory that "laughter is the best medicine" by setting up his own hospital where he puts this into practice, much to the chagrin of his superiors.

This mawkish "comedy" neglects the humble task of actually including any jokes, or even settling for bittersweet laughs, in favour of boastfully preaching about the positive benefits laughter has on the kidneys. The fact that it's actually based on a true story is baffling.

Even with the talented Robin Williams in the lead role, it fails miserably on all levels, though he can't be blamed for the clichéd script full of pantomime villains and cardboard support.

Perhaps it has its heart in the right place, but it's a painful watch with a twisted moral which seems to say that it's okay to laugh at people suffering with terminal illness.


Patch Adams
Patch Adams