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Film / Young Doctors in Love

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Young Doctors in Love is a 1982 Screwball Comedy directed by Garry Marshall. Essentially Airplane! IN A HOSPITAL, the film is largely a parody of medical dramas and soap operas; what the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team did to airport dramas, this film does to General Hospital.

It tells the story of a group of doctors fresh out of school working in a rather chaotic hospital. Several common plots of medical soap operas are present: multiple sets of lovebirds, Mafia patients, doctors abusing drugs, the hospital facing bankrupcy, protagonist's Love Interest being terminally ill, as well as unconnected plotlines which last anywhere from the whole movie to a few seconds, with a few running gags (namely, a bed that refuses to be fixed) for good measure. Think one really long episode of a long-running drama turned on its head and where everything is resolved in 90 minutes.

The movie was a dud at the box office, with most critics making unfavorable comparisons to Airplane!, but has gained a steady cult following ever since.

The cast includes Michael McKean, Sean Young, Hector Elizondo, Harry Dean Stanton, Patrick Macnee, and Dabney Coleman. Also includes very early appearances by Demi Moore and Seinfeld's Michael Richards.

Contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: When Simon August's parents put a shrunken-head-on-a-spring inside of the pinata to pop out when their son cut into it, that was REALLY not a good thing for him to experience. Also counts as Nightmare Fuel for the poor kid.
  • 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.
  • 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... along with a duck from the beginning of the movie and his bride!
  • 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.
  • The Cameo: Tons of em. Quite a few soap opera stars make cameos, including Susan Lucci and Kin Shriner. John Moschitta is a complaining man.
  • Candy Striper: a trio of nubile teenage girls whom the staff have some very obvious lascivious desires on.
  • 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 seeing-eye dog? The group that has been repairing the bed throughout the movie? 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 anesthesiologist is required on a short notice.
  • Chew Toy:
    This mister Callaghan must have been a very sick man.
    • The patient occupying the bed that's 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... along with Theme Music Power-Up from Rocky!
    August: No, not now!
    (credits quickly roll back)
  • Dr. Jerk: Dr. Prang and Dr. August.
  • 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... only to get the secretary shot in the toe shoe!
    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 off-screen 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 certain plant reserved "for glaucoma patients only".
    • The announcements. All of them qualify, but some stand out:
      • "Attention. Starting Monday, all nurses must wear underwear."note 
      • "Dr. Pepper, Dr. Pepper, please report to the Diabetes ward at once."
      • "Due to a mix-up in Urology, no apple juice will be served this morning."
      • "Attention, at exactly 3:00 p.m. all hospital electricity will be turned off for five minutes. At 2:59 p.m. all patients in oxygen tents should take a deep breath and hold it." note 
      • "Dr. Prang will not be performing a surgery today, he went meshuga."
    • Candy-stripe nurses tap-dancing with bedpans.
    • A girl's voice after Brody knocks down a restaurant tent from an earlier seizure:
    "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 jockey" written on their sweatshirts.
    • As Dr. August was talking to Dr. Brody, a young woman and an elderly lady were engaged in a little "Puff-Puff-Pass"!
    • As DeVol tells other interns about complications of being in love with Julie the prostitute, Chamberlain is trying to replace a handset... On a wall-mounted telephone about 60 cm above his head.
    • Flicker is constantly playing with Rubik'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 Malamud smokes inside of an oxygen tent, causing it to explode, a nurse removes "1" from the stand clearly marked: "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(?) who 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?"
  • Groin Attack: What happens when Dr. Burns sneaks up and puts the grab on Nurse Sprockett, but gets a bed-pan concussion first!
  • Handicapped Badass: The blind undercover policeman who asks the criminal if he's pointing the gun right.
  • Hidden Purpose Test: The urine tasting scene... sort of. Starts as a re-enactment 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, it 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.
  • Hospital Hottie: take your pick! Especially the gorgeous gift shop girl whom the staff hire to have sex with Dr Flicker as his Christmas gift!
  • Ikea Weaponry: Malamud the assassin walks into the hospital with a briefcase, hides, dresses like a patient and assembles a rifle disguised as a crutch. He then walks into Sal Bonafetti's room to shoot him point-blank. Then he falls victim to the general chaos of the hospital.
  • Instant Sedation: How Sprockett and her 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 disinfectant, much to the amusement of Sal Bonafetti.
  • 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: Sal, 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 The 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, his spirit deflates, and he walks away, very shaken.
  • 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 forensic pathologist, 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 a forensic pathologist:
    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.
  • Parody Assistance: The movie parodies General Hospital, and it's produced by the film division of that show's network (allowing for a number of cameos from their soap actors and actresses).
  • Pillow Pregnancy: Julie, a prostitute, uses a balloon to fake her pregnancy (she was making a Heel–Face Turn out of the business), that is, until that Jerkass Dr. August pops it in a Kick the Dog moment. The other doctors did not approve.
    Dr. Bucky and Julie the Prostitute named their son after Dr. Simon August. They called their kid "Peckerhead".
  • 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 certain degree. The rival mob family finding Bonafetti the moment they arrive to the hospital, and sending out only one assassin. The way Bonafetti "found" an empty room and notified the hospital workers. Nose-toe transplantation and its consequences. Said assassin being subjected to a year of operations meant for another man, as well as the whole business of selling tickets to operating theater.
  • 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 (after witnessing the Kick the Dog with Julie): 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.
    • In the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, the narrator describes his life as:
      Angelo Bonafetti is now a professional musician playing with the Philadelphia Fucking Philharmonic.
  • Speech Impediment: The anesthesiologist 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 anesthesiologist, then suggests practicing 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 passing gas (meaning the nitrogen oxide (I)). Prang didn'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 the Bonafetti family. Hopefully, they ended 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.
    • And in the end, the duck that Dr. Bucky rendered aid to in the beginning arrive... with his own bride!
  • X Days Since: After the assassin smokes inside of an oxygen tent, causing it to explode, a nurse removes "1" from the stand clearly marked: "Safety record. Accident free days."

There were no laser beam effects used in this film.