[Sidebar] The Worcester Phoenix
October 12 - 19, 2000

[Movie Reviews]

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by Peter Keough

He might be one of America's greatest living filmmakers, but let's face it, Robert Altman is a dirty old man. He's up to his old tricks in Dr. T and the Women -- gratuitous female nudity, covert misogyny, brilliant ensemble performances, and a sleek mastery of multi-layered settings and scenes that still takes the breath away. What he doesn't have is a decent scriptwriter. Anne Rapp, who cooked up Altman's previous effort, the (in my opinion) overrated Cookie's Fortune, doesn't show much improvement in this comic soap opera about the title gynecologist (a weary Richard Gere) whose knack for the ladies is limited to his office. He may have the cream of Dallas society in stirrups on his examining table, but in the real world he's a whipped man, what with wife Kate (Farrah Fawcett, naked in a fountain) in the nuthouse, mistress Bree (Helen Hunt, naked in a shower) two-timing him, and daughters DeeDee and Connie (Kate Hudson and Tara Reid, both clad) acting up on the eve of the former's wedding. Yet Dr. T still worships women, as apparently does Altman, who indulges his leering eye while eliciting scintillating turns from his distaff cast, notably Shelley Long and Laura Dern. Despite a last-minute homage to The Wizard of Oz that reminds us of what Altman is capable of, this one is stillborn.

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