Thursday, June 01, 2006

Forest Whitaker Quote of the Month: June 2006

Article 99 is a comedy/drama about a VA hospital that owes a lot to both Catch 22 and MASH. The most remarkable thing about it is the great ensemble they got together for this film. Look! There's the great John C. McGinley doing his "oddball doctor" routine nearly a decade before he hit it big with Scrubs! And there's Lea Thompson just before she did Caroline in the City and then dropped off the face of the earth! And Jeffrey Tambor! And John Mahoney! And ... well, you get the idea.

Also in the house is Keith David, our "Quote of the Month" subject for last year, and boy does he get some juicy dialogue to spout. It's a damn shame I hadn't seen this one earlier. It could have taken the slot that Agent Cody Banks (ugh) did.

Ah, but the Year of Keith has passed and the Year of Forest is in its stead. Here, Whitaker plays Dr. Handleman, one of the renegade doctors that bends the rules so that the Veterans in the hospital get the operations they really need. In an early scene, his colleague Dr. Sturgess (Ray Liota) spells out to an intern why they are doing a different procedure on a patient than what they are scheduled to receive. He then asks Forest's character to summarize this, and he does so with a succinct six-word answer:
Dr. Richard Sturgess - "Here's the problem. This patient needs open heart surgery. The administration of this hospital will only authorize a prostate procedure. Now what good is fixing his prostate if he has a heart attack every time he tries to use it? Right? Tell him, Sid. Tell him the rule."

Dr. Sid Handleman - "First the ventricles, then the testicles."

No comments: