`Doctor Dolittle'. ***. (1998, USA, PG-13, 85 min. Directed by Betty Thomas with Edie Murphy, Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt, Richard Schiff, Kristen Wilson, Kyla Pratt). John Dolittle (Murphy) can talk to the animals and they can talk to him. At least he/they could when he was a kid. His dad thought he was nuts and though the use of an exorcist and some stern fatherly persuasion John looses or suppresses his talent/curse. When we next see John, he is Dr. Dolittle, M.D, happily married, father of two girls. He's a respected partner in a very successful medical practice and is about to become very rich. He and his partners are about to sell to an HMO. Everything seems to be going great until Dr. Dolittle almost gets into a car accident with a dog. A bump on his head brings back the voices. Is he going nuts, are life's stresses too much, or does Dr. John just need to find his inner child?
The rest is a rather silly man-gets-in-touch-with-soul type movie, except for the animals. They have all the good lines. There's the lascivious German shepherd that can't control himself even when he's pleading his reformation on the way to being clipped. The pigeon couple; she's a nag, he's a wimp. There are the quarreling rats, the neurotic terrier, the tiger, and of course Lucky, the dog Dr. Dolittle hit in the car accident. To his credit Murphy let's the animals have their say while he plays straight man to their lines. One other thing about Murphy's acting; Dr. Dolittle is not the least bit comfortable around animals. When Dr. Dolittle has to catch daughter Maya's (Pratt) guinea pig, he holds it in a folded pillow so he doesn't have to touch it. (Having similar feelings about pets, I was amused by Dr. Dolittle's behavior around animals.) What's funny about this is, apparently Murphy wasn't acting. But this all added up to a fun movie. I recommend it.
Comedy / Family
Comedy / Family
Dr. John Dolittle has the world in his hands: A beautiful wife at his side, two adorable daughters and a career that could not go better. One night, he nearly runs over a dog with his car. The dog yells "bonehead" and disappears. From then on, his childhood ability is back: To communicate with animals. Unfortunately, the word of Dolittle's ability is spreading quickly. Soon, many animals from rat to horse flock to his place to get medical advice. But his colleagues suspect he's going mad, and as the clinic Dolittle used to work for is about to being taken over for a huge amount of money, many decisions have to be made. Believe him? Put him into a mental institution? Sell the clinic? But also his family is close to breaking apart. Until a circus tiger falls seriously ill.
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