The Road to Wellville (1994)
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This adaptation of the comic novel by T. Coraghessan Boyle is the story of real-life Corn Flakes inventor Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (Anthony Hopkins), an eccentric health nut in the early 20th century. Convinced of the benefits of holistic health practices (mostly involving irrigation of the bowels and colon), Kellogg opens a spa in Battle Creek, Michigan that immediately attracts the well-to-do of his time, including Will (Matthew Broderick) and Eleanor Lightbody (Bridget Fonda). A young couple with sexual and marital problems, the Lightbodys aren't helped much by the forced separation of sexes at Kellogg's sanitarium, and the situation is further exacerbated by Will's obliging nurse (Traci Lind) and Eleanor's encounters with a group of German sex therapists. Also at the spa are Charles Ossining (John Cusack), an ambitious con man who sees a fortune in Kellogg's cereal, and the unwashed, cretinous George Kellogg (Dana Carvey), one of the doctor's several dozen adopted children. A spoof as obsessed as its protagonist with its scatological subject matter, The Road to Wellville was an unusual effort for director-composer Alan Parker, known better for darker dramatic material and musicals. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Road to Wellville
Much maligned Alan Parker comedy that looks better all the time
Even a stellar cast can't save this meandering farce from a script that needs a high colonic.
Off-putting at first, this self-consciously scatological comedy does grow on one.
Audience Reviews for The Road to Wellville
Quirky comedy that suggests that most health fads are based, at root, on a desire for more sex, and further that most "professionals" in that game are willingly consenting. Except for the leader, here played with anal retentive glee by Anthony Hopkins, buck toothed, insistent on colonics for everyone, and strangely matched against Dana Carvey as his unhappy, rebellious, recaltrant adopted son. The star though is hapless Matthew Broderick as the outsider with whom we are introduced to the misguided cult and its adherents. John Cusack is in here too, though I'm unclear as to just why. It's kinda fun, but no more.More
Great story, great cast! Another great Alan Parker film, it will have you laughing while eating your cornflakes!More
Another extravagantly underrated film, Funny & fun, A wonderful satire & a pretty good comedy with great perfs, I still feel that I've rated it a bit low, Don't miss this movieMore
I can't believe some of the reviews I've read on this site about The Road to Wellville. Some people complain that it was crude and disgusting, others complain that it didn't have a coherent plot, and still others whine that it wasn't historically accurate (concerning Dr. Kellogg's methods). Those reviewers clearly missed the boat.
As for those who thought the movie was crude and disgusting, what did you expect from a comedy set in a turn-of-the-century health sanitorium run by a well meaning but eccentric doctor? Such a movie is bound to contain scenes of patients vomiting, getting enemas, and having a sexual tryst or two, just as undoubtedly occurred in many health sanitoriums at that time. Furthermore, none of those scenes were graphic, so I don't understand anybody being offended by them.
As for complaints that the movie didn't have a coherent plot, it didn't need one. It was a comedy, not a drama! The health sanitorium setting was a perfect vehicle for satirizing turn-of-the-century attitudes about health, and it was the dialogue and comedic situations that held the movie together and kept it moving, not its plot.
Finally, for those who complain that the movie wasn't historically accurate about Dr. Kellogg's actual methods (such as his character's use of electric-powered machines for health therapy), the movie was a comedy, not a biography! It was meant to elicit laughs, and in that respect it was a smashing success. I haven't laughed so much during a movie in a long time.
Some people should take Sargeant Hulka's ("Stripes") advice and "lighten up." Good comedy is not dependent on plot or historical accuracy to be entertaining; all that matters is that it's funny, and Wellville was one of the funniest comedies I've ever seen.
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