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Robin Williams has a history of playing doctors of various types on screen - in Awakenings, Good Will Hunting and now in Patch Adams... For people who don`t mind being shamelessly schmalzily manipulated in the cinema then Patch Adams is the film for you. It`s Robin Williams in one of his more overtly `I want you to like me` roles... his character is based on a real life doctor who went counter to the medical establishment while still a student in the 1970`s. Patch Adams believed in the value of humour, in the value of treating patients as human beings rather than as a bunch of symptoms. He defies medical school rules by having contact with patients in hospital, creating joy and hilarity in a paediatric ward but not impressing the powers that be or the girl he fancies...Do not, whatever you do, expect subtlety in this film. It is so nauseatingly sentimental, so unsubtle in its approach, so one-dimensional in its portrayal of just about every character - you`re either really nice - or really nasty and that`s all you`re left with. There is one striving performance in the film from Philip Seymour Hoffman who plays Patch`s conformist but envious roommate. Patch Adams is the work of director Tom Shadyac and writer Steve Oedekerk who had collaborated on the original Ace Ventura film with Jim Carrey and on The Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy. They`re working their way up the tree of stand-up Hollywood comedians, only this time they actually appear to be taking themselves seriously... This film is bound to be successful, but it really doesn`t deserve it... David`s comments:The real Patch Adams, heard from time to time on Radio National`s Science Show (hosted by another Robin Williams) is an anti-establishment figure, long-haired, moustachioed, tall - just about the antithises of Hollywood`s Robin Williams. This isn`t Patch`s real story and doesn`t even pretend to be - it`s a Robin Williams vehicle, filled with sentimentality, bad jokes and questionable taste - they look like real cancer patients interacting with Robin at his most mawkish. And what about the scene where the dying man prefers to joke with Robin than be with his family? Ugh!!!!