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'The Treatment'

Show of hands, please: Does anyone want to see an amiable romantic dramedy by a maker of sobering religious documentaries? Yes, actually, you do.

Oren Rudavsky, whose previous work includes "Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust," has, along with co-screenwriter Daniel Saul Houseman, crafted an odd, funny film out of Daniel Menaker's novel "The Treatment." A New York fantasia that's as unpredictable as life (and, hence, immune to plot summary), it boasts a winning performance by Chris Eigeman, the Whit Stillman vet who combines the consternation of Albert Brooks with the sanguine ennui of Kyle McLachlan.

As private school teacher Jake Singer, he has one glaring problem: an abusive psychiatrist (Ian Holm) who follows him around, popping out of closets or looming in bedrooms. Dr. Morales doesn't seem to be imaginary; Jake doesn't seem to be crazy. But the doctor-patient relationship is strained when Jake starts romancing widow Allegra Marshall (Famke Janssen) and Morales shows up talking about Jake's mother. It's an urban dream, of course — where else but in a fairy tale would Jake wind up with Allegra? — but it's also thoughtful, measured and, despite Morales, believable.

"The Treatment." MPAA rating: Unrated. Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes. Laemmle's Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., (323) 848-3500; and Laemmle's Playhouse 7, 673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 844-6500.

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