Reinout Oerlemans’ romantic drama, “Komt een vrouw bij de dokter – Een ode aan de liefde” [Eng. Title: A Woman Goes to the Doctor - An Ode to Love, aka Stricken] is your typical mainstream film that touches on a cocktail of issues without getting too deep – issues like unconditional love, infidelity, cancer, and euthanasia are largely examined skin-deep in this heady melodrama filled with beautiful people.
Even if I knew what the film was about, I bought the DVD without too much expectations, it was bought purely for the beautiful Carice van Houten. In that respect, I haven’t been disappointed. The cinematography is also pleasing to the eye (even more so in blu-ray), and while the soundtrack is a bit hit and miss bordering on the cheesy at times, you have some decent performance by the main cast which makes it worthwhile sitting through. While the screenplay too leaves you with mixed emotions – it is not easy to dismiss the film altogether, but this is definitely one for van Houten fans..!
Playboy Stijn meets and falls in love with colleague at work Carmen, they immediately marry and start a family. But despite his marriage, Stijn couldn’t help sleeping around at any given opportunity. Carmen tolerates his infidelity – according to him, as though it were a bad habit, like picking nose. Carmen is diagnosed for breast cancer and had to go through painful chemotherapy sessions before eventually getting one of her breasts removed. Just when she seemed to have conquered the disease, it returns with a vengeance, spreading to the liver. Unable to bear Carmen’s pain, Stijn resorts to having an affair with Roos, which almost ends in divorce. But Carmen accepts him back (rather too easily, me thinks) and they stick together until her health deteriorates to the extent that it renders her immobile with no control over her body. The film culminates in Carmen ending it all through assisted suicide, which perhaps is the most moving scene in the film.