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The Shrink is In
2001 - R - 92 Mins.
Director: Richard Benjamin
Producer: Courtney Cox
Written By: Joanne Johnson
Starring: Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Carol Kane, David James Elliott
Review by: Joe Rickey
When you think of direct-to-video films what immediately comes to mind is likely cheesy horror films starring a bunch of good-looking but no name actors. Or maybe you think of equally cheesy low budget action films starring washed-up actors such as Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. What likely does not come to your mind is a film starring a principle member of the seminal TV show Friends, and her spouse. I present to you The Shrink Is In, a comedy starring Courtney Cox Arquette and David Arquette, directed by Richard Benjamin, in desperate need of success after the abysmal Marci X.

Samantha is a woman with many problems. For one, her boyfriend just dumped her. He gave little explanation as to why he did so, just simply saying that the relationship wasn’t working for him. Her second problem is that she possesses a distinctly neurotic side to her personality, a side that causes her many problems one afternoon on a plane. The incident on the plane leads her to hours of community service and the mandate that she visit a psychiatrist on a weekly basis. Well, imagine her surprise when, of all people, her doctor goes absolutely loony. She decides that she will pretend to be a psychiatrist herself as a way of getting closer to a patient she considers to be a very handsome man (David James Elliot). Her situation is complicated further when another, less handsome but likable man (David Arquette) enters her life and shows an obvious liking for her. She now must balance these relationships along with keeping anyone from finding out what a complete fraud she really is.

The Shrink Is In certainly is not a terrible motion picture by any means, especially considering it skipped a theatrical release. There are some films released to theatres much worse than this film. The main character is a likable persona given a mostly good performance by Cox. I say mostly because at times she goes a little over the top in her delivery and becomes annoying. A sporadically humorous script (Lines such as “I haven’t had sex in years. I’m married,” hit their mark) that occasionally treats every character like they have not the slightest sense of logical thinking also doesn’t help her. It amazes me how she is able to just assume the identity of someone much older than she without a single patient noticing. The film basically takes the easy route on this side of things by having every patient be first time visitors having not seen their psychiatrist in person yet. It takes a suspension of disbelief to buy the fact that the doctor hasn’t one returning patient.

As the daft man without a sense of what is right and wrong when it comes to relationships, David James Elliot gives a performance that starts out as rather engaging but eventually grows tiresome as he starts hamming it up consistently. David Arquette, on the other hand, gives perhaps the best performance. He portrays a quiet man with emotional problems when it comes to connecting with others and actually brings some depth to the role. Naturally, he and Cox, who happens to be his real life wife, have good chemistry together which helps bring their scenes together to life.

Overall, The Shrink Is In is a comedy worth renting on a rainy day, nothing more or less.

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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