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Movie Review

On the verge of suicide, Hunter "Patch" Adams checks himself into a psychiatric ward. What he sees there changes his life forever. Geniuses on the brink of insanity. Delusional men petrified by invisible squirrels. And callous doctors relating to their patients as if they were numbers in a calculus equation. The compassionate, good-natured Patch dares to look beyond the shackles of psychosis and finds people���hurting, dying people in need of honesty, understanding and joy.

Patch Adams tells the inspirational true story of this once clinically depressed, newly invigorated caregiver on his journey through medical school and beyond. Breaking all the molds, Patch's excessive cheer and idealism challenge conventional wisdom. Objectivity or compassion? Indifference or concern? He chooses to love and respect those in pain, improving life instead of just delaying death. And the payoffs are tremendous.

Upon closer examination, however, not all is well in Patch Adams. Crude sexual humor infects several scenes. Audiences must also endure rear nudity, a handful of mild profanities and moments of hospital drama that, while not unduly graphic, get bloody.

Patch Adams has the potential to inspire medical professionals battling cynicism much as Mr. Holland's Opus revitalized educators on the verge of burnout. Though critics dismissed this film as a mawkish tear-jerker, it captures the human spirit at its finest while giving parents and teens plenty to discuss. It's a shame Patch Adams operates under less than sanitary conditions.

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