Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 1999. Touchstone Pictures, Kasdan Pictures. Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan. Cinematography by Ericson Core. Produced by Lawrence Kasdan, Charles Okun. Music by James Newton Howard. Production Design by Jon Hutman. Costume Design by Colleen Atwood. Film Editing by Carol Littleton, William Steinkamp.
Oddball characters are the main attraction to this shy little comedy from Lawrence Kasdan that features one of his best ensemble casts. Loren Dean is appropriately blank as the titular character, a psychiatrist in a small town (also called Mumford) who listens to repressed and unhappy people explain their problems away and gives them the opportunity to solve them. Misfit patients include a lovely (and frankly too little seen) Mary McDonnell as a shopping-addicted housewife, Zooey Deschanel as a melancholy teenager and Hope Davis as a completely inhibited young woman living with a Godzilla of a mother (Dana Ivey, they also played mother and daughter in The Imposters). Mumford soon finds himself concentrating on bringing out Davis’ true personality and befriending lonely software magnate billionaire Jason Lee, until nosy psychiatrists David Paymer and Jane Adams start investigating his legitimacy. Sweet and light, never in any way an important film but well crafted and satisfying.
Toronto International Film Festival: 1999