As I sit down to watch Doc Hollywood, a film that I had heard the name of several times but had never actually seen, my expectations are, well, extremely low. What I know is literally nothing (seriously no one has ever talked about this film around me). For the life of me, having now seen the movie, I don’t know why! This movie has plenty of charm and appeal, the acting isn’t terrible and the plot is no worse than any other nineties film. So why then, does Doc Hollywood not have its place among the hundreds of cult classics that came from the nineties?
The first thing that I noticed is the charm – it’s actually overwhelming. The kind of charm that only Michael J. Fox offers in his films. He absolutely carries the film and I cannot imagine literally anyone else in his place. Watching him in this film like this makes it more than easy to see why he is still held in such a high regard, dude is unbelievably fun to watch.
Our story follows a young hotshot doctor who is getting ready to leave the fast-paced gritty work of the emergency room and move to Beverly Hills to become a plastic surgeon. On his way, he gets lost and accidentally gets ran off the road after almost hitting a cow. He crashes into the fence of a local who turns out to be the judge of the town who sentenced him to community service to work as the doctor on duty for a certain amount of hours. While serving out his sentence he starts to grow fond of the town and its people and thus lies the problem. Can he make it to Beverly Hills to find the career of his dreams?
The woman who plays Lou, Julie Warner, has won our hearts over time and time again. Most would be familiar with her role in Tommy Boy, however, I would much rather remember her in this film. She is absolutely wonderful and easy to fall in love with as a character. Also, I feel like I have to mention that Woody Harrelson is in this movie, and is also wonderful as usual.
The Film 4/5
Director Michael Caton-Jones and cinematographer Michael Chapman take the helm for this delightfully charming story. The film doesn’t offer any grand tricks and Magnificent scenery just a rather straightforward film, and it does the job well. The film holds onto its original quality and film graininess that it had upon the first release. The upgrade does, however, offer some delightful moments crisp, clean picture and it comes across the screen wonderfully. So much so that some moments actually feel odd, because of the films age (and yes a film from 1991 is officially older). All in all the upgrade does the film justice and I found the experience quite enjoyable.
Picture Quality 4/5
Audio is so important for the home viewing experience and I was delighted to enjoy the film with zero issues along the way. Composer Carter Burwell delivers a well-suited score/soundtrack for the film and the editing for home viewing is absolutely impeccable. I actually watched this one without the subtitles this time around and had no issues to speak of.
Audio Quality 5/5
Here is maybe the one aspect I was not all that impressed with. The artwork comes off like a completely different film than what we end up watching and I am not entirely sure if I saw it on the shelf that I would make it a point to purchase this one. Overall Warner Bros. Archives does a great job giving us a sturdy and durable product that will hold up for a good length of time. In my experience, they have proved consistency more than anything with their product which makes durability and quality a no-brainer.
The Packaging 3.5/5
Unfortunately, we are left with simply the Trailer for included extras. This one bummed me out, I watched this film and really wanted more from the characters, the perfect time to have some extras included and yet I was left wanting.
Special Features 1/5
Excuse my language, but how the hell did I miss out on this one?! And for so long! This feels exactly like the kind of film I should have had on my shelf for years now. In fact, I will go as far to say this is a rite of passage 90’s nostalgia film that every film lover should see at one point. Michael J Fox and the films he ends up being in are just plain good. They have charm they feel wholesome and he always ends feeling like someone who could be your best friend. Alright, that last part might be a little much, but you get my point, I hope. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and just can’t believe how no one has ever suggested this film to me before. You can buy this edition HERE.
Overall 4/5 -Highly Recommended