Movie Review: Patch Adams (1998)

Starring: Robin Williams, Monica Potter and Bob Gunton

Directed by: Tom Shadyac

The remarkable true story of aspiring doctor Hunter “Patch” Adams and his journey through medical school. After spending a little time in a mental institution for suicidal thoughts he finds his calling and that’s to become a doctor to help as many people as he can albeit through unconventional methods.

Robin Williams simply owned the nineties as each and every movie that I have seen him in during that decade is wonderful and he is absolutely fantastic in all of them. I’d go as far as saying that he was possibly one of the greatest actors during the nineties as not only was he hilariously funny he was also charming and had performances that were laced with deep emotion which can be easily relatable. Patch Adams is no different as once again he will make you laugh out loud one moment and pulling at your heart strings the next as this amazing true story of determination, dedication and compassion is told as only Robin Williams could tell it.

As much as I’d like to spend my entire review revelling in Robin Williams’ brilliance, Patch Adams had so much more to offer than just the genial performance from one extraordinary man. Firstly, the story was absolutely superb and the fact that it was based on an incredible true story makes it so much better as it quite literally has everything to make the audience emotionally invested in both the character of Patch Adams and his vision on how to treat patients as a doctor. We were treated to the incredible highs as well the painful and heart wrenching lows as we dive into the life of an incredible man whose only goal in life is to improve the quality of life of others around him. The script was great and really made you care about the side characters such as Truman, Carin, Nurse Joletta and Rudy as well as Patch and the way the movie ended was such a triumph to the man behind the story as he is surrounded by friends and supporters as he manages to overcome his foes and prove everybody wrong, such a satisfying moment.

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bob Gunton played such pivotal roles as a rival medical student and the Dean of the medical school respectively. They were two of Patch’s biggest detractors and both executed their roles brilliantly as they were believers in more traditional medical practices and considered Patch to be a glorified clown rather than a doctor. The dynamics and the chemistry that everybody was able to charge with Robin Williams was outstanding and the scene where Patch is in the children’s ward with bedpans on his feet and head was such an overwhelmingly joyous moment in the movie that I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear.

Overall, Patch Adams is an outstanding movie that is another showcase as to just how talented Robin Williams was. It’s a great movie to be watched and enjoyed by everybody and it will really pull at your heart strings at times.


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