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At Theaters: 12/25/1998 On Video: 6/22/1999
Rated: PG-13 Length: 1 hr. 29 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 129809
Studio: Universal Pictures Inc.
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Storyline Heading

Based on the true story of a misfit medical student whose unconventional approach to healing causes headaches for the medical establishment but works wonders for the patients.

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DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Comedy - Patch Adams is a feel-good, rebel-against-the-system comedy-drama much like Robin Williams' successful films Good Morning, Vietnam and Dead Poets Society. Fans of Williams in those roles will probably enjoy the films most, as will fans of Williams' comedy in general. The story is extremely predictable, however, so viewers hoping for more insightful drama could be disappointed. Intended not for close inspection, but for those who want to laugh some and cheer some at all the right moments.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Robin Williams (Flubber)
Monica Potter (Without Limits)
Daniel London (A Soldier's Sweetheart)
Director: Tom Shadyac (Liar Liar)
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Production Notes Heading
Introduction
About The Production
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Moderately strong and moderately frequent
SEX/NUDITY: One scene of bare male buttocks
VIOLENCE: Off-screen murder
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: None
ACTION: None
COMEDY: Exaggerated clownish behavior of main character
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Average
Patch Adams brings us Robin Williams in a familiar mode: the crowd-pleasing riff-meister who bucks the establishment. It's the same character you may know and love from Good Morning, Vietnam or Dead Poets Society, but we've never seen that character so compromised by such an aggressively feel-good approach. The first half is best, allowing Williams to clown and take over a room. He's fine until the Messages start kicking in with an appalling lack of subtlety. Patch Adams doesn't just dare you not to be uplifted, it jams a forklift under your chair and slowly grinds you into the ceiling of the theater.
DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 183 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
1-12Children (M/F)
8
Very High
100%
13-19Teens (M)
8
High
86%
13-19Teens (F)
24
Very High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
4
Very High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
12
Very High
100%
30+Adults (M)
56
Very High
100%
30+Adults (F)
71
Very High
99%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
Hunter 'Patch' Adams was criticized in his official medical school record for "excessive happiness" and was once told by a faculty advisor, "If you want to be a clown, join the circus."

Patch did, in fact, want to be a clown. But he also wanted to be a physician. Combining vastly different sides of his personality, he became both. Patch's remarkable story, which includes having been a patient and a doctor at a mental institute, celebrates the triumph of spirited individualism and the unending pursuit of idealism.

Inspired to become a doctor while institutionalized for depression as a teenager, Patch Adams attended the University of Virginia medical school in the late '60s and early '70s. After graduation, he formed the Gesundheit Institute, dedicated to a more connected, personalized approach to medicine. Having initially resisted public attention, he began receiving a flurry of media coverage about his unorthodox clinic in the mid-80s and eventually wrote a book about his work in 1993.

In it, Adams explains his humor-driven prescriptions and why he's willing to dress like a gorilla, fill a room full of balloons or tub full of noodles to elicit a smile, a spiritual connection or simple moment of pleasure from a patient.

Using unconventional methods and wacky surprises to ease patients' anxiety and enhance their healing, Patch helped pioneer the then-startling idea that doctors should treat people, not just disease. Compassion, involvement and empathy, Patch holds, are as great a value to physicians as breakthrough medicines and technological advancements. Radical thinking, then and now.

As depicted in the film, few others initially share Patch's philosophy. The University's Dean Walcott staunchly opposes his methods, while Patch's roommate Mitch (Philip Seymour Hoffman) considers him to be no more than a childish goof.

Patch's enthusiasm does become infectious to a few, including nurse Joletta (Irma P. Hall), who looks the other way when Patch makes his unauthorized rounds, and fellow students Truman (Daniel London) and Carin (Monica Potter).

Carin presents a greater challenge to Patch, at least initially, as she finds fault with his in-your-face candor and insistence on eliminating 'professional distance' between doctor and patient.

Though continuing to ruffle administrative feathers, Patch finds his niche in the children's ward, where his funny, outrageous style helps break through youngsters' fears.

Fighting conventional wisdom, allowing himself to be vulnerable, and embracing the idea that service of others is the best way to combat your own problems, Patch Adams begins to reach people. Though alienating some and astounding many, he ultimately gains a valuable ally and convert in Mitch, who sees the effectiveness of Patch's style when he reaches the end of his own rope.

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