Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Patch Adams (1998)

It's a tricky thing, making a serious drama with a renowned comedian doing clownish things.

I put Patch Adams in the DVD player expecting something light and easy-going. Boy was I wrong!

Not that I was disappointed. In fact, Patch Adams had a similar impact on me as did Shadowlands. A very powerful story about embracing the negative and discovering joy in the midst of it all.

Some good features on the disk as well, like a commentary from director Tom Shadyac (Liar, Liar; The Nutty Professor et al) including this memorable quote: "Mental illness is all about me, me, me." I think he was quoting Patch Adams himself.

And that's another thing, this is so based on a true story. Some characters and events have been fictionalised, but there is a real Patch Adams and a real Gesundheit Institute. He's a great guy with some really interesting things to say.

Having said all that, the combination of drama and comedy felt very strange sometimes. Shadyac talks about this on the commentary. It works, but in a hard-to-explain kind of way.


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