Sunday, September 06, 2015

BEYOND THERAPY (1987) - Robert Altman


This is first Altman movie I've seen that I'd describe as "willfully wacky." Straight-up screwball filmed mostly in one location is not the best fit for skill set. Though the far superior Brewster McCloud certainly had its oddball moments and the underwhelming O.C. and Stiggs had its fair share of low-brow frat boy antics, Beyond Therapy plays too much like bad French farce (Altman actually filmed it in Paris though set in Manhattan). It doesn't rise to the Brewster's Astrodome scaled heights, and I blame the source material, Christopher Durang's play. The humor just feels dated...even for 1987.

Jeff Goldblum plays a bisexual Manhattanite who puts a personal ad in the paper and ends up on a date with the seemingly more straight-laced Julie Hagerty. Both are seeing therapists who (of course!) are more unstable than they are. Then there's Goldblum's live-in lover, Christopher Guest, who's miffed that Goldblum's suddenly leaning toward the female end of the bi-curious spectrum. Before you can say flaming escargot, yes, there are guns firing in a French restaurant. I would say the only reason to watch Beyond Therapy is to finish out your Altman filmography. But since I said that already in so many words with H.E.A.L.T.H, I'll say this instead: Watch it solely for Goldblum's extravagantly patterned shirts.

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