This is an odd little movie about a psychologist-pretender named Dr. Mumford (Loren Dean) who hits on a small town also named Mumford and goes about his business treating the needy people who live there. There are lots of confused Mumfordians.
Dr. Mumford has his own secrets and demons but despite that he’s pretty good at what he does and all of his patients go away satisfied and on their way to recovery. They’re an odd bunch of souls. Among them are: an attorney named Lionel (Martin Short), a computer modem maven named Skip Skipperton (Jason Lee) who has most of the townspeople working for him – he’s lonely and needs a friend; there’s Sofie (Hope Davis), the young woman suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Althea (Mary McDonnell) is a housewife who overindulges in expensive mail-order catalog shopping and then there’s Henry (Pruitt Taylor Vince) the pharmacist who has vivid sexual fantasies. Leave it to Dr. Mumford to figure it all out.
As I said, this is an odd movie but the characters are all rather interesting and it manages to pull itself together in an equally interesting way.
Loren Dean as Dr. Mumford has an strangely satisfying quality about him: he manages aloofness and sympathy/empathy at the same time. He has a good supporting cast in Alfre Woodard (as Lily, the diner owner and good friend), Ted Danson, David Paymer and Kevin Tighe.
Lotta says Mumford’s an oddball kind of film that kind of works – fun but no hot shakes.