Film: Young Doctors In Love

Young Doctors in Love is a 1982 comedy about a group of doctors fresh out of school working in a rather chaotic hospital.The film parodies typical medical dramas, especially Soap Operas like General Hospital (in its early years) and does it quite well. Though it failed to do what Airplane! did for disaster movies. Some critics blame recycling of old medical jokes.

The film unsubtly uses some of the common plots of medical soap operas: several sets of lovebirds, Mafia patients, doctors abusing drugs, the hospital facing bankrupcy, protagonist's Love Interest being terminally ill... There are several unconnected plotlines, some get a lot of screen time, others just appear for a few seconds several times, like the bed that refuses to be fixed. All in all, it feels like an episode of a long-running series, only everything is Played for Laughs and gets resolved within 90 minutes.

Directed by Garry Marshall, who later would direct such films as Overboard and Pretty Woman.

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Contains examples of:

  • Accidental Aiming Skills: Dr. Prang fails to hit the accountant, but does a lot of improbable damage.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of medical soap operas as well as Arthur Hailey's The Final Diagnosis.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Angelo/Angela Bonafetti. Dresses as a woman because three rival families want his head.
  • Beautiful All Along: Nurse Sprockett after she starts using makeup and styling her hair for Dr. Burns.
  • Becoming the Mask: Angelo/Angela Bonafetti. Not that he stops being a ruthless bandit, but "her" platonic affair with Dr. Walter Rist made him more romantic.
  • Black Comedy: Has a few moments.
    • Dr. August likes telling the patients they are incurable as a joke. Other doctors are not amused.
    • See Body Horror below.
    • After Dr. Prang's My God, What Have I Done? moment (see below) a patient asks about his chances and Prang absent-mindedly gives him a gun. The patient shoots himself offscreen, or at least tries to.
  • Body Horror: Covered with bandages and Played for Laughs. A patient accidentally cut off his nose with a razor, then dropped the razor cutting off his toe. A doctor stitched the nose to his foot and the toe to his face. Now when the patient sneezes, his shoe flies off, which he promptly demonstrates.
  • Book Ends: The film starts and ends with the New Year.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Intern Litto can't tell a bladder from a liver? Hit him in the liver and name it. Continue with bladder, kidneys, spleen and other organs if necessary.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The patient in the tartan robe who has been wandering the hospital for most of the film. The blind beggar with the seer dog. The group that has been repairing the bed. They all turn out to be undercover cops. And yes, they all have guns.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Angelo Bonafetti mentions playing a guitar. This comes in handy at the Christmas party and later in the epilogue.
    • Litto and his gas jokes. Then an anaesthesiologist is required on a short notice.
  • Chew Toy:
    This mister Callaghan must have been a very sick man.
    • The patient in the bed being repaired.
  • Completely Different Title: Soviet bootlegger translation named it "Молодость, больница, любовь" ("Youth, hospital, love") and the name stuck for the official Russian translation too.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Nurse Sprockett and Dr. Burns. She sort of started it by accident — she gave him a paper that listed things a stalker said to an assault victim. Burns mistook it for a love letter. He liked her, but used her to get free stimulants.
  • Downer Ending: After Stephanie Brody dies in the operation room. With funeral music and end credits starting to roll. Subverted: the cable got unplugged.
    August: No, not now!
    (credits quickly roll back)
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Dr. Prang's welcome speech.
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted. When the accountant tells Prang he lost all Prang's money including the retirement fund, Prang checks a revolver. The accountant tries to talk him out of killing himself.
    Dr. Prang: Myself? (starts shooting at the accountant)
  • Flatline: Inverted in the beginning, where the heart monitor writes the film title. Subverted shortly after Dr. Prang agrees to do a very complex operation: the patient flatlines, Prang says "We lost her!", but it was only a rehearsal with a mannequin. Subverted again later, when a patient flatlines and is pronounced dead, but the flatline was caused by an unplugged cable.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Brody's seizures. Very blunt.
    • Prang shooting a TV during business report. Both for bankruptcy subplot and for his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Funny Background Event: Plenty.
    • There's a basketball hoop in the operation room with a sign: "No ball playing during operations".
    • One of the ambulances crashes into something offscreen in the opening credits.
    • A patient gets blocked inside a car by drunk interns. He's trying to get out while interns argue with nurse Sprockett.
    • A plant "for glaucoma patients only".
    • The announcements. All of them qualify, but some stand out:
      • All nurses are ordered to wear underwear. Makes you wonder what kind of accident has caused it.
      • "Dr. Pepper, Dr. Pepper, please report to the diabetes ward."
      • No apple juice for dessert because of a mix-up in the urology ward.
      • When the electricity is going to be switched off the patients using oxygen apparatus are recommended to inhale deeply and stop breathing for 5 minutes. May be another Shout-Out to Arthur Hailey, this time to Overload.
      • "Dr. Prang will not perform a surgery today, he went meshuga."
    • Nurses dancing with bedpans.
    • A girl's voice after Brody knocks down a restaurant tent:
    Hey, you! Get your hands outta there!
    • After Prang teaches Litto the proper location of organs by hitting them and naming what he hit, Flicker tries that on himself.
    • Chamberlain (the midget) running around to pick his lost stepping box. Doubles as a Running Gag.
    • Brody dances with children who have phrases like "orphan", "underprivileged kid", "broken home", "incorrigible", "welfare recipient", "father is a disk jock" written on their sweatshirts.
    • When DeVol tells other interns about complications of being in love with a prostitute, Chamberlain is trying to replace a handset. On a phone about 60 cm above his head.
    • Flicker is constantly playing with Rubic's cube or similar puzzles.
    • A speech at a dog's funeral on a cemetery.
    • A hand sticking out of a grave on the same cemetery.
    • After the assassin smokes next to pressurized oxygen and explodes, a nurse removes "1" from the stand "Safety record. Accident free days."
    • During the announcement, that tickets are available for Prang operating Brody, a patient on a wheel stretcher is "reading" his bedsheet.
    • When Burns goes to meet a drug dealer in a littered dark alley next to the hospital, there's a wheel stretcher with a patient who wanted fresh air.
    • Interns dressing Ludwig and Kurtzman (who both haven't worked with live patients for years, if ever) while Rist gives another inspirational speech to August. Kurtzman doesn't know how to wear a mask.
    • Dr.Prang's secretary(?) wears ballet slippers.
    • When Prang shoots in the corridor, a bucket falls on one of the patients.
    • Ludwig drinks from a flask during the operation.
    • Ludwig keeps tangling himself with the sucker.
  • Gold Digger: One woman at a party simply asks every man: "Are you rich?"
  • Handicapped Badass: The blind undercover policeman. Asks the criminal if he's pointing the gun right.
  • Hidden Purpose Test: The urine tasting scene, sort of. Starts as a reenactment of an old joke where a teacher (Ludwig) teaches interns to not be squeamish: he puts his finger in the urine sample, licks it and tells its composition. The lesson is they should have noticed he licked another finger. Immediately gets derailed by Burns, who vocally insists that he has quit drinking, and August, who pulls the same trick as Ludwig, but persuades Ludwig to taste the urine for real.
  • Ikea Weaponry: The assassin walks into the hospital with a briefcase, hides, dresses like a patient and assembles a rifle disguised as a crutch. Then he walks to Sal Bonafetti's room to shoot him point-blank. Then he falls victim to the general chaos of the hospital.
  • Instant Sedation: How nurses deal with the assassin they mistake for the patient. They are trained medical workers, they use syringes for intramuscular injection (in the buttocks), the victim doesn't fall asleep — just becomes docile; otherwise played straight. Oh, and they don't bother with disinfection.
  • Large Ham: The scene where the drug dealer is arrested. Especially the policemen and goodbyes of Burns and Sprockett.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall / Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • The hammy scene with the drug dealer and police ambush:
    (drug dealer tries to open a car)
    Disguised policeman: Let's go! There's gonna be a car chase!
    (drug dealer stops his attempts and runs away)
    Disguised policeman: Door's locked, no chase.
    • Simon August telling not to show the end credits yet.
    August: No, not now!
    • Simon August telling to show the end credits.
    August: Now!
  • The Mafia: Rocco, Angelo and the rest of the Bonafetti family.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Bilingual Bonus: Gangsters' surname Bonafetti sounds a lot like "a good piece". A piece as in "a share of plunder".
    • DeVol comes off as a Trickster. Too bad the film didn't go far in that direction.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: A rare variation where nobody is killed or wounded, but the protagonist experiences a breakdown after narrowly avoiding that. Dr.Prang learns of his bankruptcy and chases his accountant with a gun. Then he almost shoots a boy and his mother. After that he deflates and walks away.
  • Not Helping Your Case:
    • Kurtzman trying to give an inspirational speech to doctors August and Ludwig. August is afraid to cut, Ludwig is an alcoholic and an autopsist, and Kurtzman keeps saying "as easy as any operation you've never done before".
    • Rist giving another speech to August. Again raises the topic of Ludwig being an autopsist:
    Rist: And we've got Ludwig! Ludwig has opened up more people than anyone! Of course, they were all... dead... but...
  • Pac Man Fever: A monitor in the operating room occasionally plays Pacman music. With a "GAME OVER" after a Flatline.
  • Pillow Pregnancy: Julie, a prostitute, uses a balloon to fake her pregnancy (she was making Heel-Face Turn out of the business), but Jerkass Dr. August pops it in a Kick the Dog moment. Other doctors don't approve.
  • Pun: A boy patient has a fly in his ear. A nurse is told to check his fly and starts to open his pants zipper.
  • Rule of Funny: The events that won't survive Fridge Logic are too many to list. Some are justified by the chaos in the hospital, but only to a degree. Rival family finding Bonafetti the moment they arrive to the hospital. Sending only one assassin. The way Bonafetti "found" an empty room and notified the hospital workers. Nose-toe transplantations and its consequences. An assassin being subjected to a year of operations meant for another man. And the whole business of selling tickets to operating theatre.
  • Rules Lawyer: Interns arrive for a tour of the hospital late in the evening on Sunday. But nurse Sprockett forces them to work, since it's already after midnight and Monday.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Dr. Brody and Dr. August.
    Stephanie Brody: I never knew it was possible for a medical doctor to be so unfeeling.
    Willa Mae: Sounds to me you're falling in love.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: The cover story to explain Sal Bonafetti's condition and disguise (pilot's helmet and shorts in January).
  • Shoot the Television: During the Christmas party Dr. Prang, the hospital owner, shoots a TV showing financial news. This foreshadows his bankruptcy and how he would react to it.
  • Single Issue Psychology: Simon August is afraid to cut patients because of a traumatic childhood event. Too bad he wants to be a surgeon.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot / Cluster F-Bomb: Angelo Bonafetti says words derived from "fuck" in every sentence. At least in the beginning. In his opening lines he asks for "fucking coffee". Occasionally he has to explain that "a fucking guitar" is not some unusual instrument.
  • Speech Impediment: The anaesthesiologist at the operation rehearsal stutters so much, the patient keeps dying. (The operation has to be done very quickly, but it takes him too long to say that numbers are OK.) Dr. Prang tries to strangle the anaesthesiologist, then suggests practising on him.
  • Straw Political: Not any particular character, but the whole situation with the nurses' strike. It happens at the worst moment possible and looks ridiculous.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Nurse Sprockett. Cold and hard in all medical matters.
  • Toilet Humour: Litto keeps saying ambiguous phrases about gas (meaning the nitrogen oxide (I)). Other doctors don't approve of fart jokes.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Simon August. His family are rich and famous surgeons, thus he wants to become the world's best surgeon and wouldn't settle for anything less.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Those patients kicked out by Bonafetti. Hopefully they end up in a better hospital.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: A voice over a procession of guests on Simon August and Stephanie Brody wedding tells what happened with each guest (with few exceptions). Then the camera switches to the assassin who obviously wasn't invited.
  • X Days Since: After the assassin smokes next to pressurized oxygen and explodes, a nurse removes "1" from the stand "Safety record. Accident free days."


There were no laser beam effects used in this film.