Study Guide

The English Patient Fandoms

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Elaine Benes ruined The English Patient. "That movie stunk!" she said after seeing it the first time. "Quit telling your stupid story about the stupid desert and just die already! Die!

"I hate it! Go to hell!" she said the second time.

But this all hinges on the fact that The English Patient was super, super popular at the time. It was a box office smash that swept the Oscars. People were—as you can see in the Seinfeld episode—watching it multiple times in the theater while clutching fistfuls of damp tissues. It was like a more-adult version of Titanic.

But in the years since, the film is all but forgotten. There are no 10th Anniversary DVDs of The English Patient. No reunion photo shoots in Entertainment Weekly magazine. Needless to say, you won't see The English Patient diet—condensed milk, couscous, and lots of sunlight—anywhere any time soon.

In the 21st Century, some people hate it. Some people love it. Almost no one comes away from this movie with the response "Meh. I don't know how to feel about that one."

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