The Couch Trip is a relatively low-key Dan Aykroyd vehicle that restores some of the comic actor’s earlier charm simply by not trying too hard. Relying as much on character as shtick, Aykroyd is a likable everyman here out to right the minor indignities and injustices in the world.
As an obstreperous prisoner biding his time in a Cicero, Ill, loony bin, Aykroyd trades places with his attending shrink, Dr Baird (David Clennon), and moves to LA to fill in for radio therapist Dr Maitlin (Charles Grodin) who is having a mental breakdown of his own.
Screenplay [from the novel by Ken Kolb] doesn’t break any new ground in suggesting there is a thin line between the certifiably crazy and certifiably sane, but it still manages some gentle jabs at the pretensions of the psychiatric profession.
As a mock priest and another fringe member of society, Walter Matthau is Aykroyd’s soulmate, but the connection between the men is too thinly drawn to have much meaning. Donna Dixon, stunningly beautiful though she is, is impossible to swallow as a brilliant psychiatrist, particularly since her duties include signaling commercial breaks on radio and standing around posing.