Doctor Leo Marvin, an egotistical psychiatrist in New York City, is looking forward to his forthcoming appearance on a "Good Morning America" telecast during which he plans to brag about Baby Steps, his new book about emotional disorder theories in which he details his philosophy of treating mental patients and their phobias. Meanwhile, Bob Wiley is a recluse who is so afraid to leave his own apartment that he has to talk himself out the door. When Bob is pawned off on Leo by a psychiatrist colleague, Bob becomes attached to Leo. Leo finds Bob extremely annoying. When Leo accompanies his wife Fay, his daughter Anna, and his son Siggy to a peaceful New Hampshire lakeside cottage for a month-long vacation, Leo thinks he's been freed from Bob. Leo expects to mesmerize his family with his prowess as a brilliant husband and remarkable father who knows all there is to know about instructing his wife and raising his kids. But Bob isn't going to let Leo enjoy a quiet summer by the lake. By ... Written by
Gee,...considering this is probably Bill Murray's funniest comedy and it is rated so poorly, no wonder he's recently taken to making odd and very unfunny movies. After all, with WHAT ABOUT BOB?, GROUNDHOG DAY and THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE, he was responsible for probably three of the top comedies of the 1990s...yet all are rated relatively low on IMDb. I just don't get it.
Bob is one of the most annoying and compulsive patients any psychiatrist can have. He's needy, histrionic and sneaky, so when his brand-new therapist goes on vacation, Bob connives to find Dr. Monroe and vacation with him and the family! Now this stalking behavior isn't particularly funny, but what makes this such a great comedy is that Dr. Monroe is a sanctimonious and pompous jerk and it's fun to watch Bob make Monroe's life miserable!! Plus, unlike some comedies that let up, in this film every time you think things can't get worse for Dr. Monroe--they do!! This makes for a funny and deliciously black film--one that can't help much make you chuckle.
By the way, I was a psychotherapist and now teach psychology instead of work with patients. When the film came out, many of my colleagues were scared to death by the film because it did hit close to home, while others thought it hilarious. Having never had a patient like Bob, I guess it was pretty easy for me to laugh at the whole thing!
I have to go now--I'm about to teach my class about "death therapy".
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