Doc Hollywood represents an attempt to rekindle the homespun humor and warmth of 1930s and ’40s paeans to small-town American life. This heaped serving of recycled Capracorn [from Neil B. Shulman’s book What?. . .Dead Again?, adapted by Laurian Leggett] has no real taste of its own, but, in its mildness and predictability, offers the reassurance of a fast-food or motel chain.
Arrogant young big-city doctor Ben Stone (Michael J. Fox) is, as he puts it, ‘waylaid in “Hee-Haw” hell’ on his way through the South to LA and prospective riches as a plastic surgeon. Detained in Grady, SC, the quaintest li’l ol’ town you ever did see, the impatient Ben is forced to perform 32 hours of community service at the local clinic for destroying the judge’s white picket fence with his Porsche.
Treating the minor maladies of the charmingly eccentric locals, Ben can’t help but become a bit hooked by town happenings and intrigue. But most of all he’s taken with the unusually feisty and attractive ambulance driver Lou (Julie Warner), a young woman with a four-year-old daughter. When Ben delivers his first baby, he feels pangs of attachment for the town.
Fox gives an energetic, agreeable, performance. Newcomer Warner is also perfectly pleasant, if not too believable as a young lady from the deep South. Supporting cast is fine down the line, with George Hamilton putting in what amounts to a cameo as the head of a chic cosmetic surgery clinic.