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This is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. And I've seen it MANY times. Still makes me laugh out loud. I was surprised when it didn't make AFI's top 100 funniest movies list. I can't believe it only has a 6.4 . It should be much much higher. It is simply hilarious.
I loved this movie. I am sure most people would disagree with me but I
would probably put it in my list of the ten best comedies I have ever
seen, all time.
This is Bill Murray's best work since Ghostbusters, at least as far as comedy goes. I also liked him in Broken Flowers and Lost in Translation but those were more dramatic roles.
I loved the way that Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss played off of each other. I don't want to say too much or I'll give away what happens between them through the movie but I thought they did a fantastic job at creating comedic moments. The scenes where Bob horned in on Leo's family moments and right into their home were incredible. I laughed out loud through the entire movie. And it's a good family movie anyone can enjoy.
Ten out of ten from me.
It might be a little simplistic to call this "Bill Murray's
Movie",because in truth,this film works just as well because it has a
fantastic support from Richard Dreyfuss,Julie Haggerty,Charlie
Korsmo,KAthryn Erbe and director Frank Oz. Still,you cannot watch this
film without feeling like Murray's complete abandon in this film is
what gives this film its pep,spark and life. This might be one of the
more energized performances of his long and well-padded career.
Dr.Leo Marvin(Dreyfuss,who has settled into being the 'Uptight fuddy-dudd' roles from here,as opposed to the more restive,youthful roles of past movies like "Jaws" and "Goodbye Girl")seems to have it all. Loving wife,healthy,normal kids and a career that is on the verge of taking off:a comfortable private practice in New York and a self-help book about to be published nationwide. At the last minute,he accepts another colleague's patient(for whom he does not wonder as to why his peer is so breathlessly trying to pass this patient off to him):one Bob Wiley(Murray). Bob doesn't have anything wrong with him;he has MANY things wrong with him. Multiphobic,clingy and more than a little under-developed in his sense of emotional attachment,Bob misreads the good doctor's brush off(As the doctor gets ready for a Labor Day getaway with his famille)as being a cure-all,and is immediately smitten with the doctor's methods,approach,diagnosis and treatment. He decides he's going to insinuate himself into Dr.Marvin's life(in somewhat of a mixture of gratitude and need),and follows him to the rural,New England lakeside vacation where the Marvins are staying.
Alvin Sargent and Laura Ziskin's story and script make the actors' moves and lines so easy you'd almost think there were elements of improvisation. But Murray and Dreyfuss are(and not to belabor a point here but...)the key here. Murray's socially oblivious and free sense of bonding clashes DRAMATICALLY with the button-down professionalism of Dreyfuss' doctor,and as Muray thinks himself "Better",Dreyfuss' shrink seems to be getting worse,confounded by his unwanted patient's persistence and loyalty. While the unabashed enthusiasm of Murray's character might drive away some viewers who might see this as "annoying" or "too much", Murray fans and,I think,fans of sort of odd,non-formula comedies will DEFINITELY appreciate the whole story and rhythm of this film. Perhaps it's a bit too early to state this(though this film,which I first caught in the theaters in first release sixteen years ago,has had more than a decade to simmer in the memories of moviegoers),I feel this is something of a modern comedy classic. I've seen this film no less than three times and,to chime in with an IMDb message board poster,this IS a truly re-watchable movie.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie the first time I saw it, laughing most
of the way. By the second look, Bill Murray's deliberately
obnoxious-pushy character now started driving me crazy, too. No longer
was it just Richard Dreyfuss being tormented. By the third viewing, I'd
Murray, "Bob," is so annoying, so irritating, that you either laugh or want to kill this guy yourself as he hounds his psychiatrist all over the place. Kudos to Dreyfuss to put up with, even if it's just acting. Murray certainly did his job well in this film. He was the perfect actor to play "Bob."
Highly recommended for one but beware "Bob" may drive you nuts, too.
Comedies like this aren't made anymore, simply because the common movie watcher might deem such entertainment boring due to no use of semen or other bathroom humor archetypes. What I especially enjoyed about this film was the interaction between Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus. It also brings out a question: Does bliss really exist within the confines of personal aggrandizement, or does it exist within the lack of societal pressures? A great little movie which should be watched by all.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I personally think that this irresistible film is one of the best
comedies of the 90's, though with this one, I can safely say that
that's just my opinion. This is a movie that is so funny, that it never
loses it's ability to make you lose control of your motor functions,
even after the 15th viewing.
Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) is a lovable, but deeply troubled man who has probably the biggest multi-phobic personality you could imagine. He also has a habit of getting really attached to people within the first few minutes of meeting them, and it's heavily implied that he's driven multiple therapists out of business due to his annoying dependency. And the successful therapist/best-selling author Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) is about to be the next victim. After his first interview with Dr. Marvin, Bob is immediately attached, and is worried when the doctor leaves for a month long family vacation, preparing for a promotional interview on Good Morning America. Bob cleverly tracks down Dr. Marvin at his lake house, and instantly becomes good friends with the rest of the family, while the doctor doesn't approve. Bob soon becomes a house guest who acts like a part of the family, and is 100% oblivious to Dr. Marvin's sinister hatred of him...
Totally brilliant premise, that is very well executed. I still do think the ending, while still funny, could have used some work. Bill Murray is at his absolute best here. He's such an over-the-top, yet believable character, who you just wouldn't be able to resist how friendly he is. Richard Dreyfuss is in my opinion the funnier of the two. His facial expressions just scream "repressed rage," and his loss of sanity, slowly occurring throughout the movie, is perfectly timed. You barely notice his personality change. It just happens. One minute, he seems like the ideal therapist, but before you even realize it, he's a sinister maniac, who now requires more therapy than Bob. Bob on the other hand, goes the opposite way. By driving him crazy, he unwittingly manages to become saner, and conquer many of his fears. And has absolutely no clue how much Dr. Marvin hates him, even when Dr. Marvin has extreme outbursts at him right. Dr. Marvin couldn't possibly express his annoyance more clearly, and the idea of his rage never crosses Bob's mind once.
That is where the movie gets it's humor. Even as he unwittingly humiliates someone on national TV, Bob never loses his charm. The interview scene is in my opinion, one of the all time classic comedy moments, and director Frank Oz just nails it. In the hands of any other filmmaker, the scene could have deteriorated into mindless slapstick. Bob humiliates the subject of the interview just by being Bob. And believe me, he is not someone you would want to be guest interviewing with. It's amazing how funny it can be just by watching a family grow to love someone who the man of the house hates with a passion, and getting mad when the dad acknowledges his annoyance. I highly recommend this laugh-a-minute comedy, and give it 8/10.
It is rated PG for Language, and Thematic Elements. It would easily be rated PG-13 today, even without the language.
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".
Bill Murray really does his best when playing outright wacky characters like the one in "What About Bob?". In this case, he's a mentally unstable psychiatric patient who follows his psychiatrist (Richard Dreyfuss) on vacation and practically takes over. In a way, the whole movie's sort of silly, but it shows how the psychiatrist is basically a pompous dweeb and Bob is the world's most lovable person, if not quite all there. It's really neat towards the end, how the psychiatrist starts losing his mind in frustration. All in all, it shows that Frank Oz is quite capable as a director, and that Murray and Dreyfuss are two of the greatest actors of our era. Also starring Julie Hagerty, Charlie Korsmo and Roger Bowen in his final role.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"What About Bob?" is one of my all time favorite movies. I never tire
of watching this delightful comedy. It is Bill Murray's best
performance. The dynamic between him and Richard Dreyfuss is perfect
and makes the movie such fun to watch. Bill Murray's characterization
of the neurotic Bob is on target. And as Bob becomes more whole in
personality -- healing b/c of the interaction with Leo's family -- Leo
descends into a jealous-madness. The dichotomy is so amusing to watch.
But it is Bob's relationship with Siggy, Leo's son, that is the sweetest unfolding - and is the main cause of friction with Leo. Bob's ability to effortlessly charm his whole family drives Leo to distraction. One of my favorite scenes is where Bob has Siggy teach him how to dive priceless!
"What About Bob?" is a laugh-out riot with Bill Murray playing the title character of Bob Wiley, a somewhat neurotic nut ball who's in need of therapy in order to calm his nerves from all the fears he has from germs, elevators, and God knows what else. Richard Dreyfuss plays his psychiatrist Dr. Marvin, a pompous doctor who can't value time with his family until his book becomes a hit and has a chance to talk about it nationwide. It's when Bob and Dr. Marvin meet face-to-face where the barrel of laughs begin with the patient making his life upside down while winning the hearts of his family, enemies and everybody around him. I've been a fan of Bill Murray since his performances from Ghostbusters to Caddyshack and he never disappoints.
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