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Restoration

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The only thing more embroidered than the florid costumes in this moral fable set in 17th-century England is its story line. Restoration chronicles the transformation of a young physician (Robert Downey, modeling one enormous peruke) from wastrel fool in the court of Charles II (Sam Neill) to crusading medical hero, thanks in part to the love of a simple Irish lass (Meg Ryan). As this synopsis suggests, the two-hour drama has moments of unbelievable idiocy as well as some signs of intelligence — but most of all, it has span. In fact, attempting a single viewing may give rise to an incurable case of impatience. Try it in serial doses instead. C+

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