On the surface, The Treatment (based on a novel by Daniel Menaker) is sort of a standard romantic dramedy, the sort that was a dime a dozen in the heyday of the indie / Miramax days of the 1990s, but if you dig a little deeper, it has some edge to it, and a little bite, which elevates it.
A teacher falls for a wealthy widow, which complicates the strange dynamic he has with his obsessive psychiatrist.
Jake Singer (Chris Eigeman) has a respectable job as a literature teacher and an assistant basketball coach at a prestigious prep academy, but he’s had terrible luck at love. His most recent ex has already moved on and is getting married, and he seeks solace from his psychiatrist, a smarmy and somewhat obsessive man (played by Ian Holm) who may or may not be a figment of Jake’s vivid imagination. By chance, Jake bumps into an attractive woman named Allegra (Famke Janssen) at his school, and they find that they’re both attracted to each other, but Allegra comes with some baggage – she has two kids, one of whom she’s in the process of adopting, and also she’s recently become a widow. Jake’s shrink advises against the coupling, and Jake’s father (played by Harris Yulin) is also against the union, but Jake goes all in and tries learning from his mistakes as he navigates a complicated path toward winning Allegra’s fragile heart.
On the surface, The Treatment (based on a novel by Daniel Menaker) is sort of a standard romantic dramedy, the sort that was a dime a dozen in the heyday of the indie / Miramax days of the 1990s, but if you dig a little deeper, it has some edge to it, and a little bite, which elevates it. The entire addition of the Ian Holm character is disarming and a little bit ingenious (particularly the way with which he’s been written and presented), and there are some bits there that will stick with me for a long time. The performances are solid, and while Eigman might be a tad too old to be playing this part, I found him to be fairly well cast and even relatable. Director Oren Rudavsky (who also contributed to the script) delivered a solid and mature romantic dramedy that can be enjoyed by both the intellectual and the plebe.
Kino Lorber’s new Blu-ray release of The Treatment comes to high definition for the first time, and the disc also includes deleted scenes, a featurette, and the trailer.