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Mumford

Reviewed By PyThomas
Posted 09/28/99 12:52:50

"Mum(ford)'s the word."
4 stars (Worth A Look)

It's not a widely known fact that Jason Lee was a champion skateboarder prior to the start of his acting career. Here, in Mumford, he gets to do both as Skip Skippington, a billionaire modem entrepreneur who does a lot of shreddin' in his spare time.

Lee is basically a supporting character here, while the main focus is on Dr. Mumford, a young psychologist played by Loren Dean. Mumford (the man) has been in Mumford (the town) for a few years now, and has built a loyal following among his patients, including Skippington, who have various problems coping with loneliness and relationships. When a new patient enters his life, a young woman named Sophie (Hope Davis), he slowly but surely falls in love with her, and would do anything to win her over.

However, we find out that Dr. Mumford has quite a shady past, worthy of an Unsolved Mysteries segment, that may screw up all of his plans should his past catch up to him. The film seems mediocre and a bit saccharine... until we do find out about Dr. Mumford's mysterious personal background. That's when Mumford (the movie) gains a fair amount of intrigue.

And there's plenty of laughs to go around. Here, the humor is more subtle and sublime than the gross and in-your-face jokes permeating most of the other comedies this year. But Mumford is more of a comedy-drama, a mellow and pleasantly enjoyable movie with wonderful performances all around from Dean, Lee and Davis, as well as Martin Short as an attorney and Alfre Woodard as Dr. Mumford's neighbor.

One of Jesus's little bits of advice was "Make friends for yourselves through your use of this world's goods, so that when they fail you, a lasting reception will be yours." In a way, Mumford (the movie) embodies these words of wisdom quite well. It's definitely worth seeing.

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