Dr. T and the Women

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Dr. T and the Women Movie Poster Image
Richly enjoyable Robert Altman, but not for kids.
  • R
  • 2000
  • 122 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Violence

Duck and turkey hunting (none killed).

Sex

Brief nudity, same-sex kiss, very explicit childbirth scene.

Language

Brief strong language.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character abuses alcohol, drinking and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie includes a same-sex kiss, brief nudity, and a very explicit childbirth scene. A character commits adultery. A character abuses alcohol. There are several hunting scenes, but no animals are shot. There is some strong language.

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What's the story?

Sully Travis (Richard Gere) is known as "Dr. T" to the adoring upper-class women of Dallas. He is a popular gynecologist who loves his patients and all women. He tells his shooting buddies that "by nature they are saints -- they are sacred and should be treated that way." This includes his wife Kate (Farrah Fawcett), his two daughters, Dee dee (Kate Hudson) and Connie (Tara Reid), and his wife's sister Peggy (Laura Dern), who has moved in to his house with her three small daughters.Dr. T strives to protect his women, but they are having problems he cannot solve. Kate is having a mental breakdown; she has retreated into childhood and must be sent to a mental hospital. Connie drives a car with a JFK license plate and conducts conspiracy theory "Grassy Knoll" tours of Dallas. Dee Dee is preparing for her wedding, but the person she is really in love with may be her maid of honor. And Peggy barely hides her sense of desperation behind slightly shrill "Love you more's" and secret snorts of liquor. Dr. T is attracted to a golf pro named Bree (Helen Hunt). He tries to take care of her, too, but she is very independent. When he tells her that he wants to make sure she never has to do anything or worry about anything ever again, she says, "Why would I want that?" Dr. T must relinquish the illusion of control and remember what really matters.

Is it any good?

It is a great pleasure to watch director Robert Altman ("M*A*S*H," "Nashville," and many other classic films) and his team do their stuff; DR. T AND THE WOMEN is richly enjoyable. The production design is spectacular, perfectly creating the world of wealthy Dallas. The acting is marvelous. Richard Gere is more relaxed and vulnerable than he has ever been, and Laura Dern is sensational as the desperate divorcee in outfits that would be considered outrageous anywhere outside of Dallas. The movie raises some thoughtful questions about what we can and can't -- and should and shouldn't -- control, with some mystical overtones as Dr. T is told that a wet woman is back luck, and then has to deal with a succession of drenched females. Some will find the ending abrupt, some misogynistic, and some just mystifying. It may be all three -- but it is also moving, and even fitting.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Dr. T wants so badly to take care of the women in his life, and what effect that has on them. They should talk about why Dee Dee is planning her wedding when the groom seems superfluous (we never even see him or hear about him until the wedding scene). What is it that Dee Dee and Connie and Peggy want, and how will they get it? How are they different from Bree? What do you think about Bree's reason for changing jobs? What does that mean to Dr. T?

Movie details

For kids who love romcoms

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