1. Archive


By Emily V. Troiano

Lakewood High School

St. Petersburg

In Final Analysis catatonic dialogue and schizophrenic score aren't saved by sessions on the couch.

Did you ever realize that movie theaters have sprinkler systems installed in the ceilings? Some of them have ceiling fans, too. I found myself wondering if the fans would short out should the sprinklers come on during a fire.

Oh yeah. The movie.

Final Analysis is a pretty stupid film. It is not dumb enough to make you study the light fixtures for very long, but it is enough to make you laugh during all the scenes that are supposed to be serious. And that's most of the movie.

The story begins inside the office of the nice and irritating psychiatrist, Dr. Isaac Barr, played by Richard Gere. His patient is Diana Baylor, in reality, beautiful model Uma Thurman. Diana is an obsessive-compulsive who has textbook dreams and an odd hangup about her older sister, Heather Evans. Heather, played by Kim Basinger, soon becomes the main focus of the plot (using the term loosely), when she begins meeting with the doctor to discuss Diana's painful past.

Gere is his familiar workaholic with no social life. He doesn't act any differently than he did as a corporate mogul in Pretty Woman. His best friend (a lawyer with the same haircut as Harrison Ford in Presumed Innocent), asks him why he doesn't date anymore. Gere responds, "I look at people's thoughts. After a while, they stop surprising you. I just want to be surprised."

Isaac and his patient's sister get together. Unfortunately, the electricity between Gere and Basinger is slightly less thannonexistent. That makes their torrid love affair entirely unbelievable. The first time they meet in his office, where, after 30 seconds, she tells him that Diana was raped by their father. Then, the next evening, they meet again and go out for coffee. After some witty conversation where Heather tells him she is married, they return to Isaac's house, discuss their potential relationship and decide it's best that nothing happen. Thirty-two seconds later, they are having sex. Surprised, Doctor?

Eventually, we meet Heather's husband. He's a creep. Then, more sex, more weird dreams, a murder, some talk about Freud and phallic symbols, a look at the light fixtures and a courtroom trial. Hold on a second. I missed something. Oh well, probably wasn't important anyway.

Good thing for the music. I would have been totally lost without it. During the "serious parts," dramatic instrumentals blare out, trying to stop the audience from laughing at the absurdity on the screen. Then during the love scenes, it changes to a soft, flowing melody. Here comes the chase scene. (You can tell because the music speeds up.) Honestly, the soundtrack is pathetic.

But the music director is no match for the talents of the dialogue writer. In an early shot, Isaac's lawyer friend says, "Around 6 o'clock, this bar is crawling with women." Isaac replies, "The only thing crawling here is you." Wow. Aptitude for writing dialogue there. Or even better, Heather says to Isaac, "So this is it. We're finished." Isaac, the clever man he is, responds, "To be honest, I don't know if I want it to be." Neato.

Final Analysis lasts 127 minutes, about 67 minutes too long. The beginning, where the credits are, looks like something out of a "generic James Bond movie," as my companion said. The music matched. From the first 10 minutes, you realize that the adventures of the demon siblings and the good doctor are going to be long and drawn out. Then, as the final insult to the viewer, the ending scene is as silly as the opening, if not more so.

To the film's credit, Basinger and Thurman's acting were excellent. They, and the unintentional humor, saved the movie from completely sinking. I was impressed by Basinger; she really can act.

Final Analysis was funny. Too bad it was supposed to be a fast-paced, dramatic and suspenseful film.