Critic Consensus: Kevin Spacey's performance is almost sharp enough to save this Hollywood dramedy from itself, but in the end, he's dragged down by a cliched script and indifferent direction.
What happens when the people we count on to hold us together are barely holding it together themselves? Jonas Pate's Shrink is a striking, fast-paced exposť of the "other" Hollywood, featuring folks living outside their comfort zone and the people who put them there.Henry Carter is a psychiatrist with an A-list clientele, including a once-famous actress, an insecure young writer, and a comically obsessive-compulsive super-agent. Henry is not in a good place, however. He has been asked to take his first pro bono case, a troubled teenage girl from a neighborhood far from the Hollywood hills. Considering his present state of mind, is he ready for the real-life troubles of a young woman who loves the world of movies he has become so jaded by? At its core, Shrink is a study of control and our endless need for it, even when it grows increasingly impossible to obtain. Writer Thomas Moffett uses classic archetypes in this modern Hollywood tale, but never pushes them over the edge of credibility. Performed by a well-matched cast at the top of their form, the result is both satisfying and exhilarating. Watching Shrink makes us feel like voyeurs looking through a window into the lives of people who look great, feel worse, and end up behaving badly. … More
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Critic Reviews for Shrink
Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward, and when those sparks emanate from a doobie clutched by Kevin Spacey, a smug critique of the American dream is sure to follow.
I'm not his manager, but I wonder if Kevin Spacey would profit from laying off the sardonic, disaffected, emotionally numb characters for a while. They're criminally easy for him at this point in his career.
The characters are so flatly conceived and their dilemmas so familiar that you wonder if the filmmakers even aspired to be original. Luckily, Kevin Spacey plays Carter with scene-saving grace.
There really was a much better comedy here than melodrama.
Some of the humor is delicious. And there are a few fine moments of truth and pathos, most of them addressing a subset of grief often ignored on film.
Audience Reviews for Shrink
Too much crowd, but almost everyone did right to their part, without which it'd have been a challenge to watch the movie.
In the wake of my conscience (BTW, did I ever tell you that it exists??), I couldn't help myself leaving this comment without mentioning that Kevin Spacey was, as usual, incredible.
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Keke Palmer, Jack Huston, Saffron Burrows, Mark Webber, Dallas Roberts, Griffin Dunne, Pell James, Andrew Sibner, Robin Williams, Laura Ramsey, Robert Loggia, Jesse Plemons, Gore Vidal, Derek Alvarado
Director: Jonas Pate
Summary: In the wake of a personal tragedy, Hollywood's psychiatrist to the stars (Kevin Spacey) devolves into a slovenly pothead and worries he's become incapable of helping his patients in this sharp indie drama that premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
My Thoughts: "Another great film with another great performance by Kevin Spacey. It's a film about death, grief and the way it effects the people that are left behind to mourn. In this film it shows it in a couple of ways. But it is mostly about a man (Spacey) who is having problems coming to terms with his wife's suicide. Feeling guilt and extreme grief he starts self medicating himself with marijuana. It's also a look at how Hollywood stars deal with the pressure of their stardom. I was surprised to see Robin Williams portray a character who is so close to his real persona. Keke Palmer did very well in this as well. You certainly felt bad for her character and her loss. I have never seen her act before and thought she did her character justice. She gave a very natural performance which made the character real and believable. Great script and performances by all. Definitely worth the watch, especially if your a fan of Kevin Spacey like I am.."
Kevin Spacey is brilliant in this role. He never fails to bring such great characters to life and he shined in this one. It's a hard subject to bring out, but the film was pretty raw and beautiful, and captured the heart of everyone well.
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