Doc Hollywood - What? Dead Again?
Doctor Benjamin Stone (Michael J. Fox) was supposed to drive all the way to
Hollywood and become
a world famous plastic surgeon over there. But no. He doesn't. Along the way he
accidentally crashes his car into a Judge's fence, and end's up having to do
his community service in a hospital located in a small town called O'Grady.
Hey! Wait up! You do know of O'Grady, don't you? Well, it's a very nice place on the surface. Tiny. Yet nice all the same. Plus if you're currently in Ben's Armani shoes, you'd get to meet some really funky people whilst you're waiting for you car to get fixed.
For example, there is Doctor Aurelius Hogue (Barnard Hughes): who's the resident doctor that has some very colourful patient's for Ben to tend to. Or then there's Mayor Nick Nicholson and his lovely young daughter, Nancy Lee (David Ogden Stiers and Bridget Fonda): who both want to stick their claws into Ben for very different reasons. Plus let's not forget Hank (Woody Harrelson), huh? He's the local insurance man that's not too fond of Ben because he has his eye on his girl-pal, Vialula (Julie Warner).
Granted, Vialula doesn't succumb to Ben's charms straight away. No. Of course she doesn't. She's not a sl*g. She has some very holistic leanings, which makes it very difficult for Ben to find his way into her heart. Still. That's most probably explains why what next transpires all goes oink-oink when a medical crisis causes a stir. As a doctor needs some help - a parade lets out a loud yelp - goodbyes are hard to come by - and after a round trip to Hollywood, Ben finally realizes he can not live a lie.
Now if I think about it for a moment or two, folks, 'Doc Hollywood' is a film that plays out on four different levels. On a cosmetic level it's a nineties film that comes across in a very fifties and eighties style. On a visceral level it tells a tale about a city boy who learns some hometown values under bold and stoic circumstances. On a romantic level it demonstrates that commitment and preconceived notions are never what they may initially seem. And on a personal level it's a great romantic comedy that has a great story and a great cast of characters in it.
Again, if I think about if for a moment or two, all of those 'medical sequences' were very sketch-like in nature, yet managed to integrate themselves into the overall story-line without any apparent or obvious 'jolts'. Also, a big shout out has to go to Michael J Fox for holding the weight of this film firmly on his shoulders, and Woody, David, and Bridget, for aiding him with this, by lavishing the screen with good old fashion no holds bard characterization.
Granted, on the reverse side of my praise, I wasn't overly keen on the 'pig' or the 'mechanics' sub-plots. Because they never really seemed to go anywhere in retrospect. And as for the romance? Well? Sorry Julie. You appeared very cold and aloof to me. Plus playing 'hard to get' can appear quite irritating at times too.
Overall 'Doc Hollywood' is one cracking film. The comedy was spot on. The romance was a bit hit and miss. The actors were great. And all in all it told a smashing tale that I feel is still very relevant today.
THE RATING: A-