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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Patch Adams (1998)



Reviews and Comments

Patch Adams is about a medical student who seems to be the only one who understands that laughter is the best medicine and that transference (a doctor becoming emotionally attached to a patient) is a good thing. The very subject raises immediate concerns about the movie: is this a heartwarming exploration of the drop of humanity in a system where there is little? Or is it a corny, trite, moralistic parade of contrivance and false sentiment? Unfortunately, Patch Adams is much more of the latter than the former.

Patch Adams is shamelessly manipulative, saccharine to an extreme, and neatly skips over the common sense truth that while laughter may be the best medicine, it most certainly isn't the only medicine, and all the smiles in the world aren't singlehandedly going to save the lives of most of the people that come into hospitals with serious problems. In the world of this movie, nobody admitted to a hospital suffers from anything worse than doldrums.