Young Doctors in Love [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Kino Lorber
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (6th November 2017).
The Film

No sooner have the hungover interns of City Hospital run in the New Year than they are pressed into service by strict Nurse Noreen Sprockett (The Right Stuff's Pamela Reed), harried emergency room Dr. Jacobs (The Avengers' Patrick Macnee), sloshed pathologist Dr. Ludwig (Alien's Harry Dean Stanton), and arrogant head surgeon Dr. Prang (Tootsie's Dabney Coleman). In addition to accidents and ailments, mobster-in-hiding Sal Bonafetti (The Exorcist's Titos Vandis) has suffered paralytic shock and has been brought in by his son Angelo in drag as Angela (Hector Elizondo who would later play a doctor on Chicago Hope). The diagnostic brilliance Dr. Simon August (Clue's Michael McKean) is undercut by his bluntness noted by colleagues, particularly Dr. Stephanie Brody (Blade Runner's Sean Young) and his propensity for showing up his superiors (particularly Dr. Prang). Dr. Bucky (Revenge of the Nerds's Ted McGinley) is eager to fall in love before he realizes that Julie (Wings' Crystal Bernard), the hysterical pregnancy case Simon treated, is a hooker. Holding down three jobs in addition to making his rounds, Dr. Burns (Nothing But Trouble's Taylor Negron) romances Nurse Sprockett hoping to gain access to drugs for sale on the street. During Sal's long stay, psychiatrist Dr. Walter Rist (The Dirt Bike Kid's Patrick Collins) finds himself falling for "Angela" while offering him conflict and getting him to open up about the things he wanted had he not been born into the mob. Unbeknownst to all but catatonic Sal, a hitman (Seinfeld's Michael Richards) has infiltrated the hospital to take him out, but his efforts are continually thwarted by the nursing staff who mistake him for various patients scheduled for operation. When Simon finally gets the opportunity to assist Dr. Prang in a surgery, he becomes the laughing stock of the interns as a childhood trauma prevents him from making the first cut. Stephanie is the only one in Simon's corner and the two fall in love as the year wears on; however, when Stephanie is cut down by a very rare disease that requires an extremely complex, multi-stage, multi-doctor operation, can Simon sum up the courage to operate on her with or without the financially and emotionally-wrecked Dr. Prang?

Ostensibly an Airplane-esque comic sendup of television hospital dramas largely relegated at the time to soaps like General Hospital and The Young Doctors, as well as the primetime drama St. Elsewhereand a handful of mysteries and dramas of the sixties and seventies before the resurgence in the nineties and onwards and featuring a slew of television hospital show cameos, the feature directorial debut of sitcom regular Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) is a mess that throws in every visual or verbal gag it can think of (starting with the Airplane intercom quips) that it never really settles down into anything meaningful, comical or dramatic, in terms of the any of the titular Young Doctors in Love despite Young and McKean actually having some good chemistry (although they are a long ways away from Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty). Elizondo and Reed are also quite entertaining but everyone else pretty much recedes into the background, which is especially a wasted opportunity for Stanton and Coleman. The work of other top production personnel of the time, from production designer Polly Platt (The Witches of Eastwick) and cinematographer Don Peterman (Flashdance) are as undistinguished as yet another of the many mainstream scores Maurice Jarre (Eyes Without a Face) composed in the eighties. Among the soap opera cameos are All My Children's Susan Lucci, General Hospital's Demi Moore and Janine Turner, as well as The Young and the Restless' Jamie Lyn Bauer and Jacklyn Zeman.

Video

Released theatrically by Twentieth Century Fox, Young Doctors in Love premiered appropriately enough on television on the ABC Network in 1985 following a 1983 video and laserdisc release from Vestron Video. A digital release did not come until 2004 through MGM, but that barebones edition offered only a non-anamorphic letterboxed transfer. While the source for Kino Lorber's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen transfer is probably more recent than that, it does not look like a new scan. Skin tones are reddish-pink, detail is only fair, and prominent white specks throughout the presentation have not been digitally painted out.

Audio

The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo track is not particularly adventurous for a comedy but it does provide some depth to the scoring, separating the the many jokey intercom messages from concurrent dialogue, and is occasionally used for offscreen comic effect. Optional English SDH subtitles are included, the better to note how many times Elizondo says "fuckin'" in his ladylike garb.

Extras

The sole extra is an audio commentary by actor/filmmaker Pat Healy and film curator Jim Healy who had nothing to do with the film itself but provide a warm if disposable discussion contextualizing the film amidst the hit-filled summer film release season of 1982. Oddly there is no trailer for the film but their are trailers for four other comedies from the era.

Overall

 


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