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Doc Hollywood
1991 - PG - 104 Mins.
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Written By: Laurian Leggett
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Julie Warner, George Hamilton, Woody Harrelson, Bridget Fonda
Review by: John Ulmer
Minor SPOILERS ahead!

I've never been able to watch "Doc Hollywood" the entire way through. There is something about it that I find very hard to focus on. No, I don't have a low attention span. The story just doesn't interest me. It's very rare for me, especially, to ever just "not" watch a movie - I'm the guy who has an unwritten law that restricts me from exiting a theater during a really horrible movie. When there's something on TV, and I start watching it, I sit through it all.

Of course, I finally forced myself to sit down last time it was on television and watch it from beginning to end. I did so rather unsuccessfully. As soon as I got to the parts I had already seen, I turned it off. Why? I can't explain it. It's just...well...

It's evil. Just kidding.

"Doc Hollywood" had me eager to get up and do something else the entire way through. I was constantly trying to find justifiable opportunities to leave the room.

The set-up is refreshing. I love the opening sequence with Chesney Hawks' "The One and Only." After that it goes downhill.

The ever-likable Michael J. Fox plays a great surgeon who decides to move to Hollywood and became a plastic surgeon. Mid-way he wrecks his convertible and finds himself in some hillbilly town in the middle of nowhere, with an assortment of odd - but likable - characters. We get the stereotypical love interest...the cliched subplots...the routine everything. The entire film is so predictable that major plot turns could literally be written on a small piece of paper: Guy gets new job, finds himself is weird town with different people, falls in love with the hard-to-get country girl, messes up and breaks up, then gets back together with her, stays in the town, lives happily ever after.

I used to live in the sort of town portrayed in "Doc Hollywood." It's not very realistic, but that's OK, it's just a movie. Plus, Michael J. Fox is arguably one of the most likable actors of all time - always able to give his cute kid smile to warm up the audience. He's always an innocent, using this sort of continual character in projects such as "Casualties of War" (where he was the good guy against a bunch of bad guys in Vietnam) and, of course, "Back to the Future."

Fox is likable here, as usual, but unable to do much of anything other than smile at the camera and play doctor. How disappointing.

The movie has a pretty great cast, including co-stars such as Bridget Fonda and Woody Harrelson, but it never amounts to much of anything at all. It's as if a bunch of loose puzzle pieces were placed together to form a rather haphazard and routine story. The movie relies on oozing charm to entice its viewers. Normally, a film such as "Doc Hollywood" works its magic on me, but there's something about this particular film that has never, ever appealed to me, and unfortunately I just don't think it ever will.
Movie Guru Rating
Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better. Disappointing.  Had the right ingredients and should have been better.
  2 out of 5 stars

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