Mr. Jones Review

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A relationship develops between a manic depressive, Mr Jones, and the female doctor who takes more than a professional interest in his treatment.


It's easy to see why Richard Gere agreed to this: if it had turned out halfway decent, the star would be guaranteed at least an Academy Award nomination for taking one of those Oscar potential role that involve simulating the symptoms of a lamboyant medical condition.

Jones (Gere) talks his way into a construction job, by convincing an unbilled Bill Pullman that he's a top-flight roofing person. Then he goes hyper and tries to fly, whereupon he's dragged off, for the first of many times, to the institution where unhappy therapist Libby Bowen (Olin) diagnoses him as a manic depressive.

For a while the film trundles along, overly impressed by Gere's showoffy performance. It then turns into a ridiculous melodrama when Olin, following every other shrink in the movies, gets unethically involved with her charge.

This is a catalogue of psycho movie cliches, with Olin's Swedish-accented, repressed analyst a throwback to Ingrid Bergman in Spellbound. Gere buzzes around helping people and making friends when he's not risking his life and borrowing riffs from Matthew Modine in Birdy and Jack Nicholson in Cuckoo's Nest, emerging as another movie maniac who does a better job of treating his fellow crazies than the uptight, drug-dispensing doctors.

Figgis, reunited with Gere after Internal Affairs, went through the Hollywood mangle on this one, and despite flashes of insight, anything worthwhile gets lost in a script that strains too hard for truth and provokes unfortunate big laughs.