It is hard to write a review about something as bland as Mumford. The fact is that this movie isn't bad but it is just so annoyingly ordinary that it is hard to like. The characters and the actors, from Mumford (Loren Dean) to Sofie (Hope Davis) are just so ordinary in appearance and language that it seems we could just be able to hop right into the movie and walk alongside them. The only problem is that ordinary usually doesn't cut it, especially when there is an audience to stimulate.
There are a few exceptions but the majority of Mumford is just boring. Sure, it is sort of amusing watching Loren Dean, with his subtle facial expressions and calm mannerisms, to treat his patients without really doing much of anything, and it is fun to see Martin Short in there, but there isn't anything - not one line, not one scene - that stands out in my mind. In the beginning, I realized I was forcing laughter out of myself just to try to get myself into this comedy, but by the end, I gave up.
Everyone speaks in ordinary tongue without any punch lines or anything, and it wasn't until this movie that I realized just how much those are necessary in a successfully funny film. Jason Lee personifies this as the lonesome twenty-something billionaire who talks just like the guy next door. Strangely enough, he's also the most satisfying character in the movie, but his lines are just an example of how hard the screenwriters worked to make Mumford funny.
Some people will appreciate it for its ability to stay 95 percent away from sexual innuendoes. Oh. Wait. Cut that. If Mumford kept to the story, it would. However, the director has put several clips of naked films in the movie for no reason whatsoever other than to attract the guy audience to come and look at these relatively unattractive breasts. And that brings me to my next point, the underlying unattractiveness of Mumford. On the surface, it may seem like a quaint little comedy about a psychiatrist who really isn't a psychiatrist who falls in love with one of his patients but is torn between remaining a fake psychiatrist or acting on his feelings, but this nice and simple idea is torn apart by Dr. Mumford's past as a sex and cocaine addicted IRS Agent. Wow. There's nothing like the main character's dark side to ruin the feel of the movie.
If a little more time had been put into the dialogue and situations and a little less time had been put into Mumford's yucky past and women's breasts, Mumford might have been a delightful comedy that could have scored a good deal of money in the box office. But, in reality, there's a reason why this movie relatively flopped.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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