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Patch Adams

Director: Tom Shadyac
Writer: Steve Oedekerk
Universal; PG–13; 110 minutes
Release: 12/98
Cast: Robin Williams, Monica Potter, Daniel London, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bob Gunton

Operating like a feel-good Dr. Frankenstein, Robin Williams stitches together his various iconoclast-comic personas from movies past (Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, etc.) to constitute Patch Adams' living, laughing body. He does this because he's really good at it. Williams' irrepressible comic energy brings life to this tale of a medical student trying to inject a modicum of humanity and humor into the lives of his patients. Based on real-life physician Hunter “Patch” Adams, the movie is both silly and heartfelt; if you feel manipulated, you won't really mind. All is not jokes, however. The humor in Patch Adams is tensioned with the knowledge that illnesses suffered are serious, often terminal; that the echoes of laughter, however hearty, may be someone's last.

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