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"MUMFORD"
(1999) (Loren Dean, Hope Davis) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Heavy None Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild Mild Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A small town psychiatrist, whose methods of helping his patients are often quite unorthodox, soon finds his practice in jeopardy when a few people begin questioning his credentials.
PLOT:
In the small, quaint town of Mumford, Dr. Mumford (LOREN DEAN) may have only beenthere for four months, but his psychology practice is already the most popular around. Although his curt, no- nonsense approach may seem unorthodox, he has many loyal patients, including pharmacist Henry Follett (PRUITT TAYLOR VINCE), who never accurately portrays himself in his film noir fantasies, and Althea Brockett (MARY McDONNELL), whose mail order obsession has her investor husband, Jeremy (TED DANSON), and their children, Martin (JASON RITTER) and Katie (ELISABETH MOSS), concerned about her.

Then there's Sofie Crisp (HOPE DAVIS), whose lethargic depression has forced her to move back in with her parents, rebellious teenager Nessa Watkins (ZOOEY DESCHANEL), and local modem king and multibillionaire, Skip Skipperton (JASON LEE), who believes he harbors a perverted secret.

Of course, not everyone is happy with Mumford's approach, and one disgruntled patient, Lionel Dillard (MARTIN SHORT), sets out to ruin the psychologist's career. Meeting with the town's other "shrinks," Dr. Phyllis Sheeler (JANE ADAMS) and Dr. Ernest Delbanco (DAVID PAYMER), Lionel begins to raise doubts about Mumford's credentials.

As time wears on, Mumford -- who spends his off-time watching the TV program, "Unsolved Mysteries" when not hanging out with Lily (ALFRE WOODARD), his landlady who's given up on men — realizes he must not only deal with the rising doubts about his practice, but also with his attraction to one of his clients and the fact that her harbors his own deep, dark secret.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or of writer/director Lawrence Kasdan ("The Big Chill"), it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For sex-related images, language and drug content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • LOREN DEAN plays a psychologist whose unorthodox practice soon leads to the discovery that he's been faking everything about himself, including a drug addict past.
  • HOPE DAVIS plays one of his patients, a woman suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that came on after her divorce. She briefly uses some profanity.
  • MARY McDONNELL plays another patient, a married woman suffering from an obsession with mail- order products.
  • TED DANSON plays her insensitive husband who briefly uses strong profanity and briefly smokes a joint before having a cigar and some brandy.
  • JASON LEE plays the local billionaire who's secretly building fully functional, anatomically correct sex dolls since he can't seem to have a normal relationship with any women. He briefly uses some profanity as well.
  • ALFRE WOODARD plays Mumford's landlady and local café owner.
  • DAVID PAYMER & JANE ADAMS play the town's other mental practitioners who begin to question Mumford's credentials and turn out to be having an affair together.
  • PRUITT TAYLOR VINCE plays the town's pharmacist who harbors old-fashioned, film noir-like sexual fantasies.
  • ZOOEY DESCHANEL plays a rebellious teenager who smokes and occasionally uses strong profanity.
  • MARTIN SHORT plays a local man who sets out to derail Mumford's psychology practice.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity is heavy due to several uses of the "f" word, while other profanity and colorful phrases are also present. In several flashbacks we see characters using drugs, while a present-day character briefly smokes a joint, while some drinking and smoking also occur.

    Nudity and sexually related scenes occur in flashbacks and fantasies, while a character has created a roomful of anatomically correct sexual "robots" for his use (most are incomplete, the nudity is of the mannequin type variety, and the only action we see is that of the lower torso of one such figure that briefly moves in an automated sexual fashion). A brief human sexual encounter, however, is seen.

    Some bad attitudes are present, including a man who's fabricated his entire existence and fooled others into believing he's a psychologist. A few tense family moments are suggested, as is some violence (most of which occurs in a fantasy).

    Beyond all of that, the rest of the film's categories are relatively void of any major objectionable content. As always, however, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness, we suggest that you take a closer look at the more detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see one of Henry's film noir-like fantasies where he states that he needs a stiff drink (among other things).
  • People have drinks in a bar, including Skip who has beer and then goes off to get another one (Mumford has grapefruit juice).
  • Jeremy tells Mumford to have a drink, and we later see Jeremy holding a glass of what's presumably brandy. This is after he briefly lights up a joint and takes a hit (before smoking a cigar). He offers the joint to Mumford who declines the offer.
  • We see some flashback scenes from Mumford's college days and see people doing bong hits, a woman holding a small sticker (that's presumably LSD or something similar that has to be licked), and some cocaine being snorted. He then reports that people took a shine to talking to him because he was "too stoned" to react. A person also mentions smoking dope. Mumford then goes to explain getting a job after college when he then developed an addiction to cocaine (and we see shots of a razor blade separating some coke) and admits that the only constant stabilizing force in his life was drugs.
  • We see someone snorting cocaine in another flashback.
  • We hear that Mumford's former partner got drunk and beat up his wife.
  • It looks like Dr. Sheeler has wine with lunch.
  • Nessa tells Mumford that her boyfriend told her to stop smoking dope, but that she said no.
  • We see some more snorting of cocaine in a recreation for a TV show as well as a photo of Mumford and others having drinks in the past.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear that Mumford's former partner got drunk and beat up his wife (and thus see her afterwards with bruises on her face and neck and a bit of a bloody lip).
  • In another of Henry's flashbacks, we briefly see him with a tiny bit of a bloody lip after being punched and kicked.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Dr. Mumford turns out to be a fake (he reveals this halfway through the film), which explains him revealing some client details to others and well as often throwing (not literally) patients out of his office if he doesn't want to hear about their problem (such as with Lionel).
  • Jeremy has somewhat of a condescending attitude toward his wife and her condition.
  • Sofie's mother is a sourpuss who's mean and hostile toward Mumford.
  • Mumford admits to having had an affair with his former partner's wife and that he and his partner (as IRS agents) broke into people's files and warehouses.
  • We hear that Mumford's former partner got drunk and beat up his wife.
  • We learn that Dr. Delbanco is having an affair.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifle: Carried by Martin through the woods near his house (and we later see him burying it in the woods to appease his girlfriend).
  • Handgun: Used by a person in a flashback to shoot themselves (never seen and we only see the body being removed on a gurney).
  • Shotguns/Handguns: Seen in a reenactment of an IRS raid on a TV show.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shooting the sh*t," "Sh*thead," "Holy sh*t," "Broad" and "Chick" (for a woman), " Jeez," "Dumb bitch" (what Nessa calls herself), "Screwed up," "Jerking off," "Bastard," "Bozo," "Go to hell," "Bull twaddle," "Take a hike" and "Mad as hell."
  • We see one of Henry's film noir-like fantasies where his "character" has a tattoo on his arm.
  • Nissa has multicolored hair in one scene and an overabundant amount of eye makeup in another.
  • Martin, who's just received his drivers license, admits that he's been driving since he was twelve.
  • A character admits to reinventing himself into a completely fictitious person.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music is present in several scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 4 "f" words (1 used with "mother"), 6 "s" words, 1 slang term for male genitals ("d*ck"), 5 asses (4 used with "hole"), 5 hells, 3 craps, 3 damns, and 2 uses each of "God" and "For God's sakes" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Oh Lord," "My God" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see one of Henry's film noir-like fantasies where he states that he needs a stiff drink, a cold shower, and "a hot broad." We then see a woman who shows cleavage in a low-cut dress and the camera then focuses on her sashaying butt (as the narrator mentions that "her hips did all of the talking"). The woman then seductively runs her hand along her cleavage, but Mumford then interrupts the fantasy and it stops there.
  • We see the representation of Lionel's dream where we enter a classroom to see everyone there nude. As such, we briefly see a woman's bare breasts as well as the side of another woman's breasts.
  • When Mumford mentions "pro bono," Nessa replies "Pro boner?" She then mentions a magazine article about twenty-five signs that a man is great in bed (but doesn't read any of them).
  • Mumford tells Skip that Henry has some "serious sex fantasies….Pretty good too, lots of detail…Nothing hardcore."
  • Martin mentions a woman getting "ripped" and then "doing all of the guys."
  • Skip has Mumford guess what he does in his off time. The doc guesses "jerking off," but Skip tells him he's working on anatomically functional, gender specific, sexual surrogate/companions. Skip asks if Mumford is repulsed by this. Instead, the doctor says that "it sounds like a good idea."
  • We see some flashback scenes from a character's college days and hear some sexual sounds from under a bed's sheets that a woman then pulls back to reveal her lying there nude (we see her bare breasts, but no other explicit nudity).
  • We briefly see a woman in her bra and then cut to another scene showing that woman having sex on top of a man (with movement, sounds and bare breasts, all shown from the camera representing the recipient's point of view).
  • We see another of Henry's film noir fantasies where his buff self sees the landlady's young and buxom daughter remove her top and we then see her in a mirror in her bra with cleavage. Back in reality, Henry says that he got rid of his real wife because she couldn't satisfy him, but then corrects that by saying that he wasn't ever satisfied.
  • Some photos in a magazine show women revealing cleavage.
  • Nessa comments about giving some guy (what sounded like) a "hummer" (possibly referring to sex).
  • Althea mentions that whenever anyone hears about a woman having mental problems they think that she needs "a good schtupping." She then adds, "Maybe there's something to that. Jeremy didn't keep up his end."
  • Skip takes Mumford deep inside the bowels of his company to show what he's been working on (which is anatomically functional, gender specific, sexual surrogate/companions). We then see his "workshop" that contains many female robotic forms (bare breasts, out of focus full frontal, but most of the figures are incomplete). On a computer screen, a computer-generated woman says "I don't feel comfortable here. Can we go somewhere private?" Skip then accidentally activates one of the figures (that's present only from the waist down) which starts writhing about in a sexual manner along with some sexual sounds).
  • As part of his therapy, Mumford gives Henry a box full of old "girlie" magazine and novels (that show the side of woman's bare breast, a drawing showing cleavage, and that have titles like "The Neighbors Have No Curtains," "Secretarial Sluts," "Night Call Nurse," etc... and we then see a brief photo of a woman's bare breast).
  • Dr. Delbanco admits to being in a "rather torrid sexual relationship" with Dr. Sheeler.
  • We see another of Henry's fantasies (from his point of view) where a woman shows a great deal of cleavage (that the camera focuses on, which it later does on Althea's clothed breasts in this same fantasy). In typical film noir fashion, the narrator then says, "She had ways of making you feel better that they didn't teach you in nursing school."
  • In a teaser for an "Unsolved Mysteries" episode, Robert Stack states that all a woman wanted was "sex and money."
  • SMOKING
  • Nessa smokes several times (while holding unlit cigarettes at others), while Mumford and Jeremy have Cuban cigars in one scene.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Althea tells Mumford that her kids told her they wouldn't deal with her any more unless she got some help (about her mail-order obsession).
  • We hear that Henry's wife took their kids and left due to his fantasies and her not being able to live up to them.
  • Sofie admits that her depression set in a year after her divorce.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The psychology/psychiatry profession.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Obsessions (Althea has one with mail-order shopping).
  • Mumford's statement that in a free society, you are who you say you are and that if you "screwed up" your life, sometimes you get another shot.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see a person hit by lightning in a reenactment bit on TV's "Unsolved Mysteries."
  • We hear about a person committing suicide via a gunshot during a flashback.
  • We see another of Henry's fantasies (from his point of view) where some guys punch and kick him.



  • Reviewed September 18, 1999 / Posted September 24, 1999

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