Shrink (15)

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The Independent Culture

Kevin Spacey leads this Hollywood ensemble drama about "the courage it takes to achieve happiness", which clues us into its therapy-driven mood.

"You can't fix people," says Henry (Spacey), which, given he's a head doctor, is not very promising; his clients include a fading actress (Saffron Burrows), an insecure screenwriter (Mark Webber), a powerfully unpleasant agent (Dallas Roberts) and a washed-up sex addict (Robin Williams). The root of Henry's depression is unearthed as he takes on the pro bono case of a film-nut schoolgirl (Keke Palmer) trying to cope with a bereavement; have they found common ground in one another? Sadly, Thomas Moffett's script doesn't illuminate his characters' problems so much as indulge them, and the picture, already tremulous with self-pity, becomes a rather monotonous rehearsal of tantrums, confrontations and quasi-epiphanies. It's West Coast cry-baby stuff all the way, and not even the late appearance of Gore Vidal as a TV interviewer can sharpen its edges.