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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Directed by Lawrence Kasdan
Touchstone 09/99 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - sex-related images, language, drug use

"All I wanted was someone to listen" is an oft-repeated phrase in today's society. People are so busy and wrapped up in their own affairs that listening to another is reserved for those in difficulty or distress, those in the midst of a crisis or a problem.

Dr. Mumford (Loren Dean) is a successful psychologist in a small town that has the same name as he has. He's a good listener who seems to have an endless reserve of empathy and attentive caring for his patients. They include Sofie Crisp (Hope Davis), a young divorcee suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome; Skip Skipperton (Jason Lee), an eccentric billionaire whose wealth and power in the community have isolated him; Althea Brockett (Mary McDonnell), whose shopping addiction is related to her loveless marriage; Nessa Watkins (Zooey Deschanel), an anorexic young girl; and Henry Follett (Pruitt Taylor Vince), a pharmacist with an out-of-control sexual fantasy life.

Writer and director Lawrence Kasdan has fashioned a comedy that is capacious enough to embrace some of the challenges we all share: to overcome our addictions and repetitive behaviors, to shed our feelings of being an imposter, and to turn our lives around. Dr. Mumford is an endearing wounded healer who uses his own experiences of pain and compulsiveness to help others. Also appearing in this soulful comedy are Alfre Woodard as the doctor's landlady, Martin Short as Mumford's only dissatisfied client, and David Payner and Jane Adams as the town's two less successful mental health practitioners.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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