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Dr. T and the Women

Director:Robert Altman
Writer:Anne Rapp
Artisan Entertainment; R; 122 minutes
Release:10/00
Cast:Richard Gere, Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Liv Tyler, Kate Hudson

At the ripe old age of 75, Robert Altman's mood has improved as his output remains vigorous. Richard Gere's innocuous attractiveness occupies the center of Altman's latest, Dr. T and the Women. Gere's character is a famed gynecologist treating Dallas debutantes. Dr.T's rosy world hits crisis when his wife (Farrah Fawcett) plunges into severe psychological regression. This makes space for a cutthroat pro golfer (Helen Hunt) to vie for his attentions. At the same time, T's alcoholic sister (Laura Dern) comes to stay with them, bringing along several unattended children. The loosely wrapped community crescendos at the wedding of Dr. T's daughter (Kate Hudson).

Full-watt star power congeals well with Altman's ensemble storytelling style. Less misanthropic than other works in his oeuvre, the director remains as misogynistic as ever: “the women” are almost unanimously a batch of scheming, confused shrews tugging at Dr. T's shirttails. The movie mixes accomplishment and displeasure in the time-worn Altman style, right on down to the completely expected unexpected ending.


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