Patch Adams (1998) Review

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Based (loosely) on a true story about Hunter “Patch” Adams who is determined to help people and become a doctor to do this. He had a tough time and ended up in a psychiatric hospital after attempting suicide. While in their he realised that laughter could really help people!

When you think of a doctor using humour to help with his patients I guess only one actor could really have taken on this role. That being Robin Williams and I want to mention early on in this review just how fantastic he is as Patch. Managing the balance of comedy and heartfelt moments he creates such a lovely atmosphere.

Patch becomes Patch after his suicide attempt and realises he actually has a great gift for helping others and making them laugh/smile. The doctor who was supposed to be helping him was not really bothered and couldn’t even look at him when he spoke. Another factor which made him want to become a doctor, that he could do a better job than had been done with him.

He causes problems though within the University and hospital they work in during the learning process. He wants contact with patients straight away not waiting until his third year, his methods are different and unconventional something that does not go down very well despite the patients being happier.  The friendship with Truman is very good from the start and trying to get to know Carin was a difficult one as she had a very dark past. The film also has a very sad twist and I don’t think I have quite got over that yet a few days after watching the film. Don’t want to spoil it though but it was tough viewing.

With that though I guess it was essential to show how you have to try to see the good in people. Trusting them and believing them but that does not always end well. It was a tough learning curve for Patch as well which really damaged his spirit. It certainly took the happy edge away from the film but I guess that shows it being more true to life. Everything is not happy at all and we all have very tough times which often determine choices and how we will end up in the future.

All of these factors do make it into a well-rounded film. I have since found out that the story isn’t really that close to the real life story but things do need to be changed when it comes to having the story on the screen!

I guess watching this film though is a little bit sad now with Robin Williams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman both being in it and having good roles as well. Just showing how well they could work together is quite a treat in all honesty. This is one of those films I was wondering why I hadn’t seen it sooner, it is currently on Netflix UK.

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