This mega-budget all-star costumer contains a little bit of everything, from comedy to melodrama to tragedy to metaphorical religious drama as it chronicles the many adventures of a mid-17th-century physician during the reign of… More This mega-budget all-star costumer contains a little bit of everything, from comedy to melodrama to tragedy to metaphorical religious drama as it chronicles the many adventures of a mid-17th-century physician during the reign of England's Charles II. The 1660s where a tumultuous time in England. Charles has just reclaimed his throne and struggles to overturn the Puritanism that had taken over. This creates a tremendous spurt in intellectual growth. It also brings all of the decadent hedonists out of their closets. One such intellectual pleasure seeker is Robert Merivel, a physician whose lust for cheap women overshadows his devotion to medicine. His father and his best friend John Pearce, fear that Merivel's constant wenching will get him in trouble, but this doesn't stop the good doctor. Eventually, Merivel is called to the palace to personally heal Charles' ailing spaniel. He succeeds and secretly has a great time gorging upon a veritable feast of palace beauties. Grateful King Charles rewards Merivel by knighting him, giving him an enormous country estate, and having him marry his favorite mistress. With the latter arrangement, Merivel is under the strictest orders to never touch his bride of convenience. Unfortunately, Merivel wants most the things he cannot have and so falls in love with her. He tries and tries to woo her into consummating their union, but fails. Time passes and he is just about to succeed, when the nasty court painter intervenes and tells the king. Enraged, the monarch takes all of Merivel's wealth and privilege away, forcing him to return to the real world, where he must deal with insanity, intense poverty, disaster and the great plague.