Mumford

Bomb Rating: 

I say give Charles Manson a set of Ginsu steak knives, lock Kasdan in a room with him, and let's just see if Larry's theory really holds water.

Lawrence Kasdan is one of these people who sits at home alone, wondering why everybody in the world isn't quite as perceptive as he. He watches television or reads magazines, and when he sees a story about a person with some sort of psychological problem, exclaims to himself (or to his pet fish), "My God, it's so simple, that person just needs to be loved!"

Whether that person was gang-probed by aliens or raised by hyenas in the wilderness, Kasdan is convinced the secret to their problems lies in a kind soul willing to listen to their problems. Hell, that person doesn't even need a degree, just a kind heart and good ear. I say give Charles Manson a set of Ginsu steak knives, lock Kasdan in a room with him, and let's just see if Larry's theory really holds water. In "Mumford," that's the key to everything: Dr. Mumford (Loren Dean) just listens and solves everybody's problems, even though he's a big fake.

Among his patients are Henry (Pruitt Taylor Vince), who has an overimaginative fantasy life, Sofie (Hope Davis), who appears to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Althea (Mary McDonnell), who shops like crazy. Then there's the town's major employer, Skip Skiperton (Jason Lee), who hires him for therapy under the guise of being his friend.

Of course, everybody's problem clears right up once Dr. Mumford figures everything out. Henry needs to take interest in a real woman. Sofie needs to have some fun and get out from under the cloud that is her mother. Althea needs to get away from her overbearing husband (Ted Danson). Skip just needs a friend and a woman. Isn't life easy? It requires no actual hard work or deep thinking -- kind of like Kasdan's movies.

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