Patch Adams: The Story of an Extraordinary Doctor

         After Patch Adams admits himself to a mental hospital and discovers his true calling in life – becoming a doctor – his outrageous behavior and “happiness” cure almost deters him from getting his degree to practice medicine. The language in Patch Adams (1998), directed by Tom Shadyac, is extraordinary, and Robin Williams is able to portray the character by using his dramatic acting ability to bring humor into the character without falsifying the character.

         Patch Adams’ philosophy is summoned up in his eloquent speech to the Board of Directors in the finale of the movie:

         “What's wrong with death sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can't we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decency, and God forbid, maybe even humor. Death is not the enemy gentlemen. If we're going to fight a disease, let's fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference,” according to the IMDb Web Site.

         These usually dramatic lines were portrayed in a comedic humor because of Williams’ colorful shirt tucked inside of his suit. However, Williams allows himself to take on more serious lines that convey overwhelming emotional impact.

         The lines “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly without complexities or pride. I love you because I know no other way then this. So close that your hand, on my chest, is my hand. So close, that when you close your eyes, I fall asleep,” according to the IMDb Web site, are powerful words used by Adams to express his feelings to a medical student who just died.

         In the end, Adams is allowed to graduate and get his degree in medicine. But even as he receives his diploma, Adams uses his own eccentric personality to bring humor to his commencement ceremony by leaving the back open–exposing his butt. While I have not been able to find out if the real Patch Adams did this, Williams’ decision to expose himself, left audience members memorized until the end.

Rockelle Gray

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