August 25th, 2001


Dr. T (as in Travis or Texas) & The Women

Just saw the movie, and.. Do I regret bying the DVD? No, not really. It's exremely few DVD's I actually regret having bought, unseen. "Hollow Man" sucked so bad. "The Horse Whisperer" was about the most boring movie I've seen.
It's more; The movie was ok, but not really worth having on DVD. "Dr. T & The Women" easily fits into that category. It's watchable, but far from something special. It's a very Robert Altman Movie gone horribly wrong. Except Richard Gere and some of the younger actresses, it's full of great actors/actresses taking their characters and running with them. Robert Altman is said to be a great for actors to work with, because he leaves them with a lot of freedom, as in they having to trust themself. That, of course, works if you know what you're doing. Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Shelly Long, Laura Dern etc, knows what to do. Especially Shelly Long and Laura Dern is hilarious in this movie. Those new hot actresses, such as Kate Hudson and Liv Tyler do have serious problem, when not told exactly what to do. I'm not saying they're bad actresses. They're not. Only that they haven't really learned to make something own out of a character. What wouldn't Christina Ricci, Neve Campbell or Reese Witherspoon have done in those parts?
The movie deals with Richard Gere (Dr. T), the gynaecologist surrounded by all these women. His wife, daughters, sister, staff and customers. They adore him for his sensitivite which comes out of really adoring and feeling for women. Only that he is too good, and his whole world goes into total chaos, except for those quite getaways with his hunting buddies and his new love (Helen Hunt) which is different from the other women, until he just want to run away from it all.
The movie suffers too major problems. One being Richard Gere, and his character. He's too wooden an actor to balance out the strong world of women around him, which makes it hard to feel for him, as well as you never get any sense of what the character wants.
The other being Robert Altman. He's been known as a great director of women, and true, in most of his movies, women has been equally as important as the men, and had really great and strong characters to play. As with Dr. T, I think Altman really adores women. The only problem is that it's in a way, from a distance. Objects of beauty, to a large degree. He's famous for getting every actress to drop her clothes if he wants to. Julianne Moore, Lori Singer, Frances McDormand, Madeleine Stowe, Embeth Davidtz, Sally Kellerman, Tracey Ullman etc etc. Lots of actresses that wouldn't think of dropping the clothes for someone other than Robert Altman. Sometimes it's justified, as Julianne Moore in "Short Cuts" or "Farrah Fawcett" in "Dr T. & The Women", but very often it isn't, as Helen Hunt in "Dr. T & The Women". In most of his movies, tho, women are chatty, egoistic and irritating backstabbing bitches. At least a lot of them, and in "Dr. T & The Women" our poor hero is really surrounded by them, until he "Wizard of Oz"-like, is transported away from it.
It's difficult to see a point of this movie. The great thing about "Short Cuts" is that all the separate stories formed a whole, and come to some kind of fulfilling. This movie, like "Prˆt-…-Porter" (aka "Ready to Wear") just goes on, and on, creating a world, but doesn't really do anything with it.
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