Beth Pinsker
June 25, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The premise of Patch Adams is promising: Williams plays a troubled medical student who bucks authority by clowning at bedside to try to help his patients. It’s even a true story. Problem is, the character’s a sanctimonious jerk who helps people but (strangely for such a sentimental comedy) has no sense of humor about donning a red nose and floppy shoes to tour the children’s wards. And then there’s the wishy-washy love story and maudlin narration. Squarely in Williams’ Fathers’ Day vein. D

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