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Movie Reviews

Dr T and the Women  

Dr. Sullivan Travis (Richard Gere)
Bree (Helen Hunt)
Carolyn (Shelley Long)
DeeDee (Kate Hudson)
Peggy (Laura Dern)
Marilyn (Liv Tyler)

Directed by Robert Altman Written by Anne Rapp
Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content, sexual situations and language Running Time: 122 minutes Distributed by Artisan Entertainment
Dr. T & the Women
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Dr. T and the Women is a dim-witted film that is full of non-sense. Dr. Sullivan Travis (Gere) is a very respectable and well-known gynecologist that resides in Dallas, Texas. Between his family and patients, unique women constantly surround Dr. T. An unexpected incident occurs when his psychologically “child” challenged wife, Kate (Fawcett), dances naked in a mall fountain. Over the next few months, Dr. T’s life becomes even more hetetic with his over-booked schedule of short-fused patients and one of his daughter’s (Reid) questioning of her sister’s (Hudson) sexuality. On top of all these problems with his women, Dr. T begins a relationship with a new woman, Bree (Hunt), who is a professional golfer.

This film really has no point to it. The first half of the film introduces interesting characters, which end up stuck in the film’s climatic storm of stupidity.

Anne Rapp oddly wrote Dr. T and the Women. Rapp’s only previous writing credit to my knowledge is last year’s Cookie’s Fortune, which was very enjoyable. However, this script by Rapp is promising but ends up poor. I liked the characters in this film, especially Dr. T’s champagne loving sister-in-law Peggy (Dern). I found the second half of the film as too absurd. Also, the characters were weighed down with too many problems and consequences. I just didn’t like the story that this film tried to present.

Robert Altman has previously been hailed as a genius of a director. Even though I have thought his direction in Cookie’s Fortune, Short Cuts and The Player was incredible, I have found a lot of Altman’s work overdone. Thus leading me to admitting that a lot of his direction in this film is extremely overdone. An example of this is the atmosphere Altman creates during the opening credits. The setting is the waiting room part of Dr.T’s office. In this scene and many other “waiting room” scenes, the women patients begin uproars, arguments and gossip. The opening scene seems to go on for twenty minutes with the patients screaming, along with verbally arguing with one another and Dr. T’s assistants. Altman is a director that I have respect for, but this film is the worst I have ever seen him make.

Richard Gere delivers a better performance in this film that he did in Autumn in New York, but that’s not saying much. Gere has those recognizable and annoying clicks with his acting. Examples are his constant blinking and childish smirks. I agree with a friend of mine’s observation of Richard Gere, which is he is a good actor within Julia Roberts’ presence and his work in Primal Fear was terrific, but that is it. Helen Hunt delivers an okay supporting performance as Bree, but I question of why she was involved with this character and film. After delivering the breakthrough female performance of the year as Penny Lane in Almost Famous, Kate Hudson serves up a flat performance as the soon-wife to be daughter of Dr. T. I predict that Hudson will rebound quickly after this disappointment. The only real admirable acting in this film is the two funny performances by Shelley Long and Laura Dern.

Dr. T and the Women is a dumb movie that tries to convey a moral message in an insanely funny manner. However, its attempt is an embarrassing failure.

Report Card Grade: D

Beastman’s Movie Reviews
Copyright, 2000 Joseph C. Tucker

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