Directed By: Phil Joanou
Written By: Robert Berger, Wesley Strick
Produced By: Paul Junger Witt, Charles Roven, Tony Thomas
Cast: Richard Gere, Kim Basinger, Uma Thurman, Eric Roberts, Paul Guilfoyle
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 124 minutes
Review Date: January 28, 2011
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but what about judging a movie by the poster? One glance at Final Analysis would clue you in on what happens in the movie’s two-plus hours length: a steamy sex scene, and nothing else much.
Richard Gere stars as Dr. Isaac Barr, a psychologist with some serious ethical dilemmas. His favorite plea for criminals on trial is the insanity plea, which he uses to free a clearly guilty guy in the tone-setting opening scene.
Dr. Barr forms too strong a relationship with a patient, Diana Baylor (Uma Thurman), which somehow leads him to play the role of male mistress to Diana’s married sister, Heather Evans (Kim Basinger). Evans, trapped in a loveless marriage with a pig (Eric Roberts), seeks her sexual pleasures from Dr. Barr.
Heather Evans is an oddball character, stunningly beautiful with some obvious demons inside. After about an hour of Dr. Barr treating Baylor and seducing Evans, a twist comes when Evans’s husband is found dead. Heather Evans goes on trial for murder, and Dr. Barr persuades the court to let her plead insanity; sadly, the insanity doesn’t stop there.
I’ll admit, I couldn’t predict the twist at the end and felt bad for Dr. Barr, but that only lasted about two minutes, because if you fall in love with a patient’s sister, there’s something morally reprehensible about you, no matter how dreamy your eyes may be.
The movie brings to light an idea of pathological alcohol intoxication, something I had no idea existed and promptly Googled. In a world of crazies, learning about this form of alcohol-induced temporary insanity, I’m even more terrified to walk around at night.
None of the actors’ performances stand out. I felt kind of sorry for Richard Gere having a “movie” this bad on his résumé. Final Analysis received three Razzie Awards in 1993. The film won none, proving it was so terrible, it wasn’t even good enough to be the worst. Final analysis: skip, change the channel, hit “Stop.”
Hanna Soltys is a green tea drinker and film critic living in Chicago.