Richard Says Goodbye (The Professor) review – Crude and silly escapade

The film's seedy and inebriated character has few redeeming features.

Johnny Depp, it seems, is taking on more serious roles.

He has cast aside his more frivolous endeavours, like the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, to embrace something he possibly deems meaningful to the spirit.

Richard Says Goodbye, which trades under the name of The Professor for the overseas market, is not a production that will leave him with any laurels.

Johnny Depp in Richard Says Goodbye. Picture: Global Road Entertainment

It’s a crude and really silly escapade which, at the end, leaves a truly bad taste in the mouth.

Depp can do far better than this, mumbling and stumbling his way through a part in which his seedy and inebriated character has few redeeming features.

He portrays Professor Richard Brown, whom we meet in the opening sequences receiving bleak news from his doctor.

He is in an advanced stage of lung cancer which is spreading. He has six months to live with treatment, but with aggressive and painful treatment this can be extended to 12 to 18 months, should he choose.

Richard Says Goodbye. Picture: Global Road Entertainment

How does he deal with this dire situation? Instead of feeling sorry for himself and becoming morose, he decides to live the last six months like a maniac, doing all the crazy things he didn’t do before being diagnosed.

His attitude is spurred on by the news that his wife, Veronica (Rosemarie DeWitt), with whom he has a troubled and tortured relationship, is having a torrid affair with the dean of the college where Richard teaches in the English department.

His only daughter, Olivia (Odessa Young), then proudly announces she is gay and has taken a lover.

With everyone having argued at the dinner table, Richard never gets to give his medical report – and he won’t be doing chemo.

Richard Says Goodbye. Picture: Global Road Entertainment

Richard’s demeanour rapidly changes. He adopts a confrontational tone at class the next day, reflecting indirectly the bleakness of his own medical situation.

He begins telling the students about the urgency of living life to its fullest and is critical of the stereotypes he has superficially observed among the students in the classroom.


Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Cast: Johnny Depp, Rosemarie DeWitt, Danny Huston, Odessa Young, Zoe Deutch.
Director: Wayne Roberts.
Classification: 16 DLS

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