Projections - Movie Reviews

Dr. T & the Women Dr. T & the Women

Meandering, mixed up and maddening is Robert Altman's latest comedy.

Richard Gere stars as Dr. Travis, or as everyone calls him, Dr. T.  He's a gynecologist to the rich women of Dallas, Texas, and by the looks of his crowded waiting room, he has a thriving business.

He's a steady, calm man in a sea of confusion.  His waiting room is full of elaborately coifed, clothed and jeweled women, waiting for an exam or a kind, reassuring word.

His nurse (Shelly Long) ushers irate patients in and out like a school crossing guard.  It isn't a flattering picture that Altman paints.  These patients are bickering, self absorbed and petty.  Janine Turner is one who plays a hypochondriac who demands to be seen by Dr. T at will.

Not only is Dr. T's professional life filled with women needing his attention, his private life is also demanding.  Kate (Farrah Fawcett), his wife, has a nervous breakdown (in a mall fountain no less); his daughter Connie (Tara Reid) works in a JFK conspiracy museum and his oldest daughter Dee Dee (Kate Hudson - Almost Famous) is a professional cheerleader planning a big wedding.

The only other men in the film, are three friends of Dr. T with whom he plays golf, shoots skeet and hunts.

All of the female characters are without form and interchangeable.  Things happen to them or they take certain actions, but there are no true personalities or emotions that set them apart.  It makes it difficult to understand why actresses line up around the block for the chance to have even the smallest role in an Altman film.

Dr. T has a rounded, well developed character.  He cares about the smallest details of his patients and listens to his daughters when he's up to his ears in work.  In fact, he only begins seeing another woman (Helen Hunt), the most stable female in the film, when he realizes his wife is not getting any better.

If the film focused on Gere's Dr. T and got rid of the commotion surrounding him, it could have been much much better.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Jennifer
Kathleen
Avg.
Dr. T & the Women
C
D+
C
B
C
C
C
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