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.