Ferrell is a neurotic patient and Rudd a dangerously narcissistic therapist, in this plodding drama about a real-life scam which is saved by the sheer unbelievability of its source material
‘I’m not going to let anyone use you … I’m going to help you and everything’s going to be all right.” There are three types of people in this world. Those who, upon hearing such a pronouncement, cling to it and its utterer like a drowning man to driftwood. Then there are those who would run – fast and far and never looking back. And then, of course, there are those who would say such a thing.
In Apple TV+’s The Shrink Next Door, Marty (Will Ferrell) is the first kind – a 40-year-old bundle of borderless neuroses, a manchild in over his head at work and everywhere else. His sister Phyllis (Kathryn Hahn, continuing to prove the notion that everything should have more Kathryn Hahn in it) is the second kind. Tough and sceptical, the only fool she suffers in her life is Marty, and none too gladly. It is she who puts Marty the way of Dr Ike (Paul Rudd), a therapist and the utterer in question. Over the next 30 years, he inveigles his way into Marty’s life, his finances and his home (or at least his summer home in the Hamptons), to the painful incredulity of Phyllis who – as anyone who has witnessed a friend or family member being colonised by a narcissist will know – is powerless to do anything about it, even before she is ostracised from their cult of two.