Tom Shadyac Meets Dr. Sensitive

Is this - dear God - Patch Adams 2?

You’d think that director Tom Shadyac would have learned his lesson from the last time he made a movie that dabbled in the medical world – for it was Patch Adams, one of the most reviled films of the last ten years.

Yet apparently not, for Shadyac is circling a spec script just picked up by Universal called Dr. Sensitive, about a doctor with the world’s worst bedside manner.

So… an anti-Patch Adams, then? Well, perhaps not – for, in first-time writer Ben Frahm’s script, Dr. Sensitive then undergoes a transformation and becomes overly empathetic.

Now, Dr. Sensitive is a comedy – and one with high-concept overtones of Shadyac’s Liar Liar, one of Shadyac’s three collaborations with Jim Carrey (the other two being Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Bruce Almighty). And it certainly has the potential to be very funny, especially if Carrey – for whom this seems to be a perfect fit – gets on board with his old chum, after wisely steering clear of this summer’s Evan Almighty.

But we’d like to sound a note of caution. Shadyac’s films, save the pleasingly anarchic Ace Ventura and Nutty Professor – interestingly, the only films on which he has a screenplay credit – have a habit of being derailed near the end by an overwhelming tsunami of syrupy Golden Girls sentiment. And, given that Dr. Sensitive is clearly going to learn some valuable lessons about life, love and how to be a better person, that may well be unavoidable.

But Shadyac – who’s a thoroughly likeable guy – may yet prove us wrong and show that he hasn’t forgotten where the funny bone is. Perhaps Dr. Sensitive could point him in the right direction. But if the good doctor ever dons a red nose and funny clown shoes, get the hell out of Dodge.