The Treatment

The Treatment


Reviewed by: Chris

The Treatment describes itself as "a serious romantic comedy about life and love in NYC". The main characters are Jake Singer, an anxious young schoolteacher who has broken up with his girlfriend and seems resigned to a life of mediocrity; his shrink, Dr Ernesto Morales (Ian Holm), who describes himself as the last great Freudian - "in a line stretching from Moses to Aristotle"; and Allegra Marshall, a beautiful young socialite who takes a fancy to Jake.

The film aims at a serious note with the unrelenting, intrusive and almost sadistic treatment meted out by Dr Morales. Jake's baggage is all too obvious and (although there must be easier routes) the 'treatment' does show signs of working, even when Jake starts wondering if he has maybe just 'hallucinated' the encounters. A sub-plot about adoption tries to bring in some emotional ballast to fill the chasm left by Jake and Allegra's lack of on-screen chemistry.

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The Treatment meanders along like an episode of Sex And The City or Frasier - only where nothing much happens. At first captivating, the endless litany of inconsequential detail and forced humour soon begins to wear. "I thought he was supposed to make you feel more comfortable in your own skin," says Allegra about Jake's analyst. "No, he's more the exfoliating type."

In discussing one of Jake's favourite books, Allegra quotes a comment about the author re-drawing the landscape to place equal emphasis on what's not said. Sadly, this film has too much that is said; and that which is not said has too little substance to justify the barely relevant meanderings through school sports halls or Dr Morales' questions about sexual positions.

Ian Holm delivers a fine performance, but the script, while not completely without merit, has too little substance for such a great actor to get his teeth into. We are told that the lover in Jake is under-nourished and the self-pitying side over-fed: much the same could be said of this bloated, drawn-out and not particularly engaging film.

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2006
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Jake Singer needed a shrink, but now could he be driving him crazy?

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George Williamson **1/2

Director: Oren Rudavsky

Writer: Daniel Saul Housman, Daniel Menaker, Oren Rudavsky

Starring: Chris Eigeman, Ian Holm, Famke Janssen, Stephanie March, Harris Yulin

Year: 2006

Runtime: 86 minutes

Country: US


EIFF 2006

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