Mr. Jones (1993) Movie Review

Mr. Jones (1993)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Richard Gere in Mr. Jones (1993)

Olin and Mr. Jones

Having attempted to fly whilst work on the roof of a building under construction and then disrupted a classical concert, Mr. Jones (Richard Gere - Final Analysis) finds himself placed into a mental institution. It is there that he meets Dr. Libbie Bowen (Lena Olin - Remember Me) who believes his exuberance and erratic nature of being full of life one moment then heavily depressed the next is due to him suffering from bipolar disease. But working with Mr. Jones causes Libbie professional conflict as she finds herself falling for him especially after he saved her from another patient.

It is interesting to see how movies have treated mental health issues over the years with many a movie I have come across ending up using it as a character trait rather than focusing on how it effects people. And that is the case with "Mr. Jones" as whilst we have a drama featuring a man who due to being bipolar suffers the huge mood swings, going from almost drunken exuberance one moment to dark depression the next the storyline is much more traditional, you might even say cliche. As such what we have in "Mr. Jones" is a drama about a doctor falling for their patient and therefore dealing with the ethical conflict which comes with it but with the extra element of Libbie knowing that the full of life Mr. Jones is just one side of him and there is the dark side. As such whilst as a romantic drama "Mr. Jones" is both pleasant and sweet it is also a little underwhelming.

Lena Olin in Mr. Jones (1993)

Now I am not a mind reader and as such don't know what the intention was when they green lit "Mr. Jones" and so I don't know whether originally it was meant to be an informative drama about someone being bipolar or a romantic drama as it ended up. But if the latter was the case it robs the movie of some real depth and what could have been an informative yet entertaining movie for those who find themselves not so much in a similar position but struggling with the mood swings of bipolar disease be it as the person with it or a loved one trying to cope.

Now maybe I am being a bit harsh about "Mr. Jones" as there are moments in it where the romantic drama works. Watching Libbie initially try to deal with Mr. Jones in a professional manner only to find herself falling for the full of life side of his persona is quite charming, even sweet. At the same time whilst Richard Gere seems to take the peaks of the mood swings to extremes as Mr. Jones, in making the exuberant side of his character playful, fun, charming and full of life makes it easy to understand why that level of charisma would end up being appealing to Libbie despite knowing the facts. And so whilst I wish "Mr. Jones" had been less romantic drama and more a look at mental illness I have to say that the acting works for the sort of movie this is, yes I am begrudgingly saying it.

What this all boils down to is that whilst "Mr. Jones" features a character who is bipolar this isn't a full on drama about the mental illness but a romantic drama built on the cliche of a doctor falling for their patient. When you watch it as such it is a pleasant romantic drama with nice performances from Lena Olin and Richard Gere. But for me I was hoping for something much more educational when it comes to the mental health side of the story.