Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Probably the most saccharine-filled movie I've ever seen! :)

Saccharine, note, not sugar.

Patch Adams is training to become a doctor, an appropriate vocation since he seems blessed with the ability to make people laugh. Laughter equals happiness, and happiness helps heal patients.

"You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you'll win, no matter what the outcome."

However Patch is also one of those two-dimensional characters who, despite living life on a perpetual high, never seems to go through any corresponding low. There are two points in this film when he does get sad, but neither is the result of his extreme euphoria.

While I do believe that it's possible to generally choose joy over sadness, nowhere here does Patch seem to be practising this decision. The script presents us with someone who just is constantly elated, and never seems to encounter the insecurities and hurt that the rest of the world has to get over.

The film's message is one that we can all hold onto - make the world a happier place - but with little realism to the character, it also makes this look unachievable.


4 comment(s):

At 11:01 pm, Anonymous Rhett said...

Agree with you on this one. Patch Adams is one of those films that seems to be universally adored by undiscerning movie goers, but universally despised by people who have any real interest in film.

And that villain is probably the most poorly written and unbelievable characters in film. I expected him to turn to the camera and say, "Do ya hate me yet!? Do ya!?" at any moment.

At 11:23 pm, Blogger Steve Goble said...

I think he's what we call a 'straw villain'.

At 8:17 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe, but I do not know, that Patch Adams was a real person and that his real life joy came from being a born again believer, which was left out of the film entirely. In it's place we had a hint of reincarnation instead with the butterfly near the cliff.

At 12:31 pm, Blogger Steve Goble said...

He certainly was, and continues to be, a real person. I've no idea whether he has any religious beliefs though.


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