Dr. T And The Women
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Robert Altman is like Woody Allen. Everyone wants to be in his films.  He is the director of Mash, Nashville, The Player, Short Cuts, Cookie's Fortune, well you get the idea. In Dr. T And The Women, the cast making up the second part of the title includes, Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Laura Dern, Shelly Long, Kate Hudson, Liv Tyler, Lee Grant and Janine Turner.  Dr. T is played by Richard Gere.  Going into this movie I thought that this would be a typical Richard-Gere-type film and that he would end up sleeping with most of the women listed above. But I was wrong. It's a Robert Altman movie and so Richard Gere plays a man who loves women all right but not in the Richard-Gere kind of way but rather in the old-south kind of way. He loves women and wants to take care of them. So Gere's character has been happily married for many years and has two grownup daughters. And he's the most popular gynecologist in Dallas.  But now the walls are closing in on him.  His wife (Fawcett) is mentally ill and his sister-in-law (Dern) and her three daughters have moved into his house. His own daughter (Hudson) is getting married. And he ``sees" nothing but women all day long. His only respite is frequent hunting trips with the boys.  In the midst of all this chaos, he meets someone (Hunt) and falls in love.  Since this is an Altman  film, I have just scratched the surface of all the subplots swirling around.  Unfortunately, by the end of Dr. T And The Women, these subplots have not come together and resolved themselves in a satisfactory manner.  Unlike some of his previous films like Cookie's Fortune and The Player, Altman seems to run out of steam here and the subplots all fall apart and we are left with a very weird and unsatisfactory ending.  Instead of his usual quiet and compelling story, he seems to have decided to remake Steel Magnolias.  On the other hand, for Gere this movie is a triumph. He handles this role extremely well and seems to revel in being the anti-Gere. He even has a new conservative hairdo.  The supporting cast are all great as you may expect although many are wasted in small or poorly developed roles.  Tara Reid is particularly good as the second daughter who works at the JFK Conspiracy Museum.  Helen Hunt rises above it all in another excellent performance. She and Gere move through this film with authority while chaos reigns around them.  Hunt is the outsider, the only woman not from Gere's world. So she is the one who brings the 21st Century to Dallas after Gere professes his eternal love and offers to take care of everything in her life. She says, ``What makes you think I would want that?"