Picks and Pans Review: Doc Hollywood

updated 08/19/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/19/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Michael J. Fox, Julie Warner

In a movie era of hectic violence and speed-of-light personality shifts, there's something to be said for an affable, semicalm romantic comedy.

Fox plays a doctor who is on his way from Washington, D.C., to become a plastic surgeon in Hollywood when he gets lost—he finally cracks up his car in North Carolina, where he runs into a Central Casting bunch of folksy characters. There's eccentric Mayor David Ogden Stiers, crotchety doc Barnard Hughes, good-hearted lummox Woody Harrelson and town vamp Bridget Fonda. Fox also runs into newcomer Julie Warner (see story, page 47), who must endure one of the most gratuitous nude scenes in movie history, thanks to director Michael (Memphis Belle) Caton-Jones. She does, however, get an appealingly spunky role as a divorcée with a young daughter. (The script is by Daniel Pyne, who cowrote The Hard Way, and Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman, collaborators on Who Framed Roger Rabbit.)

The film has a pleasant tone—it's like a good TV sitcom episode. And Fox eventually makes it to Hollywood, where he runs into George Hamilton, in a splendid bit as a ponytailed cosmetic surgery guru, and Harrelson gets the movie's best line. "Was that a celebrity?" someone asks the Cheers regular in a restaurant. "Nah," he replies, "it was just Ted Danson." (PG-13)

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