Saturday, 30 March 2013

Dr. T and the Women (2000)

Dr. T and the Women is not one I was dying to see. In fact, I would most certainly have never watched it if I had not gotten into a sticky situation called "Cinema Stripped Down". Perhaps the reason I didn't want to see Dr. T and the Women is the fact that I'm not too crazy about seeing a film where Richard Gere examines wealthy (and often elderly) women's vagina. That said, Dr, T and the Women still has it's defenders. Whether I am among such people, you will have to wait and see.

Dr. T and the Women is filled with nudity. In fact, there is a scene when 70s and science fiction star, Farrah Fawcett strips down and takes a nice bath in the middle of a shopping mall. Altman figured she would not be comfortable doing the scene, so he got everyone off the set except for himself, a sound recorder and the director of photography.  To his surprise, Farrah Fawcett was perfectly fine performing this scene, in fact, she refused to do it without a crowd surrounding her. So, Altman brought all of the extras back in. Once she had finished the scene, she received a standing ovation from  everyone on the set.

I cannot say much of anything else about Dr. T and the Women, humanity has tried and evidently succeeded in forever removing any memento of it from their memory  There are however, a few reminders. I suppose this review will also be a reminder of such. I should mention, that Dr. T and the Women is a film that did receive some positive review. These include a review written by Roger Ebert, which interestingly pointed out the connections between Dr. T and Altman, himself. Ebert then proceeded to explain how Altman is alike many of his other character. I can't truly express an opinion on this situation do to the fact that unlike Roger Ebert, I was never acquainted with Robert Altman, but if I were to take a best guess, I would go ahead and say that I think that Dr. T is who Altman wishes he was. Dr. T is Richard Gere, a man several women are attracted to, he is wealthy, and he is a gynecologist, a job Altman would love to manage his inner sexual desires, that have become apparent through many of his films.

Where does Dr. T and the Women stand today? I somewhat covered this earlier, but if I must, I will again. Dr. T and the Women is a film few people know, because they surely don't want to know about it. That said, they film still does manage to hold a 57% on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn't terrible... it just isn't particularly good. It also holds a 4.7 on IMDb, which is without a doubt terrible. I can't tell you not to see this movie, but chances are... you're not going to like it.

Dr. T is a gynecologist for in Dallas for very wealthy women. The normality of his life soon breaks apart once his way experience a nervous breakdown do to a rare affliction caused by the fact that she is loved too much. After his wife is submitted to a mental institution, he must continue his life. He then discovers that Dr. T's youngest daughter, Dee Dee is secretly a lesbian. That's not good, because Dee Dee is getting married! The woman Dee Dee is outing her inner most sexual desires in the maid of honour at her wedding.

It seems like everyone in Dr. T's family are experience some kind of personal crisis. We he be able to cope himself? And will he help everyone else in his family move on?

Meet Dr. T... who is this fascinating man, you ask? Well a few words to describe him are: irresponsible, narcissus, liar, snobby, ignorant, naive, annoying, hypocrite .. the words go on and on... and yet we're supposed to sympathize with him because his wife has gone insane, danced naked in a fountain, and then after she was submitted into a mental institution and we pretty much don't see her again, he falls in love with Helen Hunt. That poor man! Why did this have to happen to someone with so many great qualities... oh wait...

Wow, I had no Altman had the maturity of a six year old. The entire point of Dr. T and the Women is so he can sit behind the camera and point out nudity. If you listen very carefully, you can probably here Altman giggling and all of the film's naked women, like the little peeping tom he is. If you notice, it's never the character that focuses on this, it's Robert Altman behind the camera. So, basically, the way I see it, Robert Altman decided to make one of his many fantasies into a film and force everyone to have to sit through it.

Robert Altman could never have his film admit to being just nudity! No! That would be pretty much pornography, and Robert Altman's career is far beyond that. So Altman decides to put in messages and metaphor to give this near-porn meaning. Are these metaphor and such presented well? Hmmmm... how many words for un-subtle are there? Dr. T and the Women would have worked better if Altman hadn't even tried. Actually, the film would have worked better if Dr. T had died in the first few scenes, then I would have to sit through this awful film!

Alright, Altman has his pornography and he has his kind and loving message so people may not notice he's just making porn, what else does he need now? Evidently, nothing else. Because Altman pays literally no attention to cinematography and how he uses his camera. It's almost as though he edited the film drunk and blindfolded. We cut while people are in the middle of their lines during a few scene. This is directed by the same man who made 3 Women? Are you kidding me?

Of all the Altman films I have seen so far, none of them have had such an awful script. These characters speak their dialogue saying some of the most unnatural lines, I have ever heard. When they talk about their jobs, it seems they're in a film, because of the acting and because of the terrible dialogue.

Richard Gere is terrible in Dr .T and the Women. He is outright awful. To give you a quick example of how painful his acting is, is a scene in the end of the film. This I suppose is a spoiler, but quite frankly this film is not worth watching. After Dr. T ends up in a car crash (shown in a scene where he falls through the sky for five or so minutes) he wakes up in a Spanish town when a bunch of children find him and take him to their house where he finds a pregnant woman giving birth. He proceeds to say one word over and over again in Spanish to help this woman he's never seen before cope with having a child. Oh, and it works. After the child comes out, Dr. T lifts it into the air and yells "IT'S A BOY!". He then proceeds to overact and scream and rejoice. Yep... no thank you.

Dr. T and the Women is a painful experience filled with Robert Altman's sexual desires, poor editing and cinematography, an awful script and a terrible performance by Richard Gere. Yep, no thank you.

Dr. T and the Women,
Directed by Robert Altman,
Starring: Richard Gere, Helen Hunt and Laura Dern
3.5/10 (F)

1. 3 Women
2. The Player
3. Nashville
4. Brewster McCloud
5. Gosford Park
6. A Prairie Home Companion
7. Cookie's Fortune
8. Fool For Love
9. Dr. T and the Women

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