City Hospital is another world, a guiding light for those with One life to live, a search for tomorrow for the terminally troubled.
For comedy fans, it's the locale for "Young Doctors in Love," a young and restless parody of daytime soaps that gets physical with your sense of humor. This first venture of ABC Motion Pictures is a film that makes you stick out your tongue and say "Ha." Director Garry Marshall, a television whiz, tests your reflexes with a walloping slapstick, ocassionally taking a pratfall. His eccentric cast, lead by Sean Young, the beautiful replicant in "Blade Runner," and Michael McKean, the greaser Lenny on ''Laverne and Shirley," are mutually contagious.
The witty screenplay by Michael Elias and Rich Eustis makes matches -- most of them among new interns at City Hospital -- with a yenta's vengeance. First to fall are Young and McKean, as Dr. Stephanie Brody and Dr. Simon August. He's an insensitive genius and she's a Miss America type who wants to be a small-town general practitioner. She faints frequently, a result of an almost incurable illness (one in 6,000 recover). He suffers from fear of surgery, the result of cutting open a donkey pinata as a child.
Next, nurse Norine Sprockett (Pamela Reed) is romanced by exhausted allergist Dr. Phil Burns (Taylor Negron), a night- time taxi dancer who waltzes her around to get a hand on her uppers. She wants people to take notice of her eyebrows, which are remarkabley like those of Brooke Shields.
There's also Dr. Bucky Devol (Ted McGinley), a hunky new looker who falls for a roller-skating hooker (Crystal Bernard) with a false pregnancy. The cure proves to be not an unpleasant operation.
The most complex coupling sees a godfather's son (Hector Elizondo) in a relationship with the caring, sharing Dr. Walter Rist (Patrick Collins), a psychiatrist. These and the other performances are mostly wonderful, with Harry Dean Stanton standing out as a mad pathologist who claims to have tasted all 20 of the bodily fluids.
Throughout the film, the public address system urges,"Dr. Pepper, Dr. Pepper, please, report to the Diabetes Ward" or "E.T., phone home." The I.V. bottles contain gherkins and goldfish, and the pastel hallways are peopled with stars from "General Hospital," "All My Children" and "The Young and the Restless." President Ford's boy Steven even does a cameo.
Film firsts include the Heimlich maneuver as foreplay, a cardio-pulmonary monitoring unit that plays themes from "Jaws," "Close Encounters" and "Pac-Man," a stuttering anesthesiologist, a midget pediatrician and a blind police officer making a drug bust. "Young Doctors in Love" is more fun than happy hour at a convention of proctologists.
YOUNG DOCTORS IN LOVE -- AMC Carrollton, Flower Twin, Jerry Lewis Cinema, Loehmann's Plaza, NTI White Flint, Roth's Quince Orchard, Roth's Tysons Corner, Showcase Fair City Mall, Springfield Mall, Tenley Circle.