DR. T AND THE WOMEN
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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