Dr. T And The Women
Dallas gynecologist Sullivan Travis has it all, including a thriving practice, good friends, an adoring family and lots of money. Unfortunately, his wife is having a mental breakdown, his daughters are far too self-interested and his patients are driving him crazy. Overwhelmed, Dr. T finds himself drawn to another woman – the easygoing new golf pro at his country club.
Quirky writer/director Robert Altman is best known for observant, multilayered films such as “Nashville” “M.A.S.H.” and “The Player.” Once again he has taken a location and a people and skewered them. This place is Dallas, Texas, and the people are the self-involved elite ladies who like to shop. Here, Altman’s female characters are a dreary bunch. Narcissistic, hedonistic and egocentric. That pretty much sums up this group. Not that the men fare much better. Dr. T is a kind man, caring about his patients, and monogamous, well, until his wife of twenty-something years goes bonkers. Then he escapes the pressure by committing adultery. A man under such pressure can falter. I don’t judge him for wanting to flee his troubles. But it was one shot that caused me to suspect his character. Towards the end of the picture, while his insane wife stands alone out in a thunderous rainstorm, he doesn’t even look back at her as he decides to drive off. It was one of the most revealing moments I can remember. I don’t care how frustrated one becomes, one doesn’t leave his mate of twenty years, who is now suffering from a mental sickness, standing alone in a thunderstorm. Another character decides while walking down the aisle that she’s really in love with her maid of honor. Suddenly, she’s running off with the girl, without even looking back at her fiance. She apologizes to her father, but not a word to her befuddled boyfriend. I could go on about the make up of these people. Suffice it to say, they have the same regard for others as all those SUV owners who seem to disdain the use of the blinker. Ah, Mr. Altman, now there’s the subject for your next skewering.