By Mike Carron
Robert Altman is back. And this time he has brought along an ensemble cast that will amaze you. Dr. T And The Women stars Richard Gere, Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett and Laura Dern. The story focuses on Richard Gere’s character, obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Sullivan Travis, or Dr. T as he is known to all of his female patients.
Dr. T’s life is pretty good. He is married to Farrah Fawcett’s character Kate. He has two beautiful daughters, one of which is getting married, and a group of pals he can spend his free time with at the golf course or out hunting ducks.
But all is not well for Dr. T. His life is slowly crumbling apart and as the movie progresses his troubles all explode to the surface. Gere’s acting is not the best in this film. He spends most of the movie with the same look on his face no matter what is happening to him.
Bertolt Brecht once said there is no such thing as actors, there are only models that speak. This is exemplified in Gere’s role in the film. There are too many moments where Dr. T says nothing and tries to convey everything through expression. The problem with this is that it is the same expression every time.
Another painful character to watch is Farrah Fawcett’s Kate. Anyone who saw her appearances on David Letterman will see she didn’t have to try to act crazy. Her scenes are painful to watch and useless to the rest of the movie. Sure, it is an event for the rest of the characters to discuss, but it does not aid in the movement of the film and slows down an already dull movie.
The movie is full of sub-plots because there is no one real plot line. While sometimes interesting, there is a lack of character development and events occur with out any sort of catalyst. The random occurrences lead to confusion and have the audience asking themselves what is going on so often you would think the film was in another language.
Another distracting element of the film is the ensemble cast itself. As the film starts, the credits list off so many recognizable names that you would think you were watching an Oscar party. The strong actors and actresses would normally help a weak film, but only end up being miscast. The scenes they are in become comical and awkward making it hard to concentrate on the film. Altman’s newest film is sure to disappoint many of his fans and will not win him many new ones. Overall, Dr. T And The Women is two hours which could be better spent anywhere else but at this movie.