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Review: Shrink

A pastiche of derivative movie pitches devoid of human feeling
By PETER KEOUGH  |  July 28, 2009
1.5 1.5 Stars

 

Dr. Henry Carter (Kevin Spacey), the psychiatrist-to-the-stars of the title, has written a bestselling book on how to be happy. But — go figure — he isn't happy himself.

Instead, he drinks himself into oblivion every night, chain-smokes joints in between appointments, and wallows in the unshaven, arch despair that's Spacey's specialty. One of Henry's pro bono clients, however, is a teenage African-American girl (Keke Palmer, the best thing in the film), and what do you want to bet that despite their disparate backgrounds they'll find a common bond and mutual healing?

Another patient (Dallas Roberts) is a super-agent who takes meetings in which people say things like "It's like Big Wednesday meets Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." Such a person might say of this movie, "It's like The Wackness meets Half Nelson meets The Player meets . . . " Or he could be honest, since this is a film about honesty, and describe Jonas Pate's Shrink as a pastiche of derivative movie pitches devoid of human feeling.

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