Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
"Dr. Dolittle" is a cute, crude and good-hearted movie about a doctor who can talk to the animals--and listen, too, often as they loudly pass gas. It combines the charm of the 1998 movie with the current Hollywood obsession with intestinal tracts, resulting in a movie that kids, with their intense interest in digestive details, may find fascinating.
Eddie Murphy stars as a famous veterinarian, who now runs his own animal clinic (complete with 12-step therapy groups for ownerless dogs). His homelife is almost more demanding than his work: His daughter Charisse (Raven-Symone) is 16 and starting to date, and his wife (Kristen Wilson) is remarkably patient with a house full of pets and a yard full of animals, including a raccoon who comes to summon the doctor to an emergency.
The crisis: A forest is about to be leveled by a plump, sneering enemy of the ecology (Jeffrey Jones), and the animals, led by a Godfather-style beaver, hope Dolittle can help. The forester is represented by a slick attorney (Kevin Pollak), and Dolittle recruits his lawyer wife to defend his case in court.
Much depends on the fact that the land is the habitat of a female bear, a member of a protected species. But since she can't reproduce all by herself, the villain's lawyer argues, what's the use of preserving her habitat? Dolittle, thinking fast, recruits a male performing bear from a circus. Can the bear be persuaded to perform those functions that a male bear in the wild does naturally? When the bear proves shy, Dolittle turns into an animal sex counselor.