What About Bob? (1991) Poster

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What about Bill!
KUAlum2625 September 2007
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.
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Great comedy
kneiss128 September 2010
l wasn't sure if I wanted to give this movie 7 or 8 points till seeing the last 20 minutes. There Richard Dreyfuss has been in full cry. I needed to laugh so hard, that I am forced to give this movie 8 points. As a movie itself, if I use all criteria I use on other films, this movie would not deserve 8 points. The story is predictable (I knew exactly how it was going to end from the very beginning), camera work, music and characters are not actually special. All has been there before, and was copied again and again afterward. But as a comedy, this movie totally did what it was supposed to do. It was absolutely hilarious!

Sometimes the humor was a bit too silly, and Bill Murray has been overdoing it from time to time - and I still needed to laugh my butt off. Watching the way smaller Dreyfuss beside the tall, dumb looking Bill, screaming and shouting like an angry dwarf, was a way too funny image.
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canadiancinderella13 February 2008
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.
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Hysterical! A film that can be watched over and over.
jaysilentbob375 September 2006
Warning: 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.
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better than anyone might expect
lee_eisenberg14 November 2006
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.
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Fabulous and fun!
summer1111dg6 December 2006
Warning: 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!
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Bill Murray at his best!
departed0715 January 2008
"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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Dude, it's simply one of the funniest ever made.
cptgabok11 July 2001
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.
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Murray Good At Being A Whack-Job
ccthemovieman-112 September 2006
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 had enough.

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.
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Leo Marvin Was A Happy Man. A Successful Man. A Sane Man. Until the Day He Met...Bob.
ExplorerDS67899 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Meet Leo Marvin, noted psychiatrist, author of the best-selling book "Baby Steps", he's got a loving family, a summer home in Lake Winnipesaukee, and was going to be interviewed live on "Good Morning, America". Could live be any better? It could, but it's about to get worse. Enter Bob Wiley, a paranoid, obsessive-compulsive man with multiple phobias ranging from elevators to diseases. He feels that if he fakes Tourette's Syndrome, he won't actually get it. And he carries his goldfish with him everywhere he goes. Bob met with Leo that afternoon and he spelled out his twisted life, involving his divorce over his wife liking Neil Diamond. Leo taught Bob to not worry so much about the big things, but to instead take baby steps. He gave him a copy of his book, then they parted ways. Leo left for Lake Winnipesaukee with his family, but soon enough, he started receiving phone calls from Bob who requested another session. Leo refused him...twice. Not until he returned from vacation. Bob was overly-determined to speak to Dr. Marvin, so he pretended to be a detective and told the exchange switchboard operator that Bob Wiley committed suicide and managed to get Leo's address from her. When Dr. Marvin heard of Leo's alleged suicide, he was saddened...for a minute. He didn't want it to ruin his vacation.

Bob reluctantly boarded a bus, another of his many phobias, and headed for Lake Winnipesaukee, Maine. Once he arrived, he immediately tried to locate Leo: by screaming his name in public. Leo was anything but pleased to see Bob. His efforts to dissuade him and send him back proved futile. Bob managed to charm Leo's wife Fay, daughter Anna, and son Sigmund. Bob went sailing with Anna by tying himself to the mast, and he taught Sigmund how to dive. All the while Leo was upset about Bob getting involved with his family and despite his protests, Bob ate dinner with them and spent the night. The next day, the "Good Morning, America" crew arrived to film Leo. They insisted Bob be in it too. Bob tried unsuccessfully to make Leo look good, but instead he upstaged him. A humiliated and infuriated Leo coaxed Bob into the car where he dropped him off at a mental institution where he stayed...for an hour. He charmed the staff so Leo had to take him back. He tried ditching Bob again on the way home, but he got a speeding ticket as well as a flat, Bob hitchhiked and beat him home.

Leo had had all he could take of Bob and suffered a nervous breakdown. It was time for drastic measures. He broke into the general store and stole high explosives. He coaxed Bob into the woods where he tied him up then strapped the bombs over him. Bob, thinking this was a genius form of therapy, managed to get himself untied then walked the bombs back to the house...which detonated 10 minutes later, blowing the Marvins' beautiful summer home to bits. Dr. Leo Marvin suffered a severe nervous break-down and catatonia after that. But the real salt in the open wound was that Bob met Leo's sister Lily and the two just hit it off, so they decided to get married. Leo's will to object at the wedding drove him out of his psychotic state and returned him to normal. And so, Bob, Lily, Leo, and the family lived happily, and sanely, ever after.

What About Bob? It's a funny movie! Bill Murray was funny. I normally don't find him to be that funny, but he was sure good in this movie. Richard Dreyfuss was a riot. He was really good too. When the guy from Ghostbusters and the guy from Jaws come together, there's no telling what will happen! Also in the cast: Julie Hagerty, the cutie from Airplane!, as Leo's ever-patient wife. The kid from Hook plays Sigmund, Kathryn Erbe is Anna, Fran Brill is Lily, and Roger Bowen, in his final film role, plays Phil, Leo's doctor. Bowen is perhaps better known as Col. Henry Blake from MASH. He passed away February 16, 1996 ironically one day after McLean Stevenson, who played the same role on the TV series. Both had heart attacks; I think the funniest part of the movie is when Leo is shaking Bob awake, shaking him and bouncing him continuously, then the alarm goes off and he wakes up. Murray and Dreyfuss made a great team. So if you like either of them, or you like director Frank Oz (performer of such famous Muppets as Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Grover, Animal, etc.) or you like comedies of this genre, then What About Bob? is for you. It's entertaining to watch as Bob improves psychologically, while Leo becomes more and more unstable. From 1991, What About Bob? I recommend it.
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Bill Murray in one of his most endearing roles
Agent1016 May 2002
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.
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Bill Murray at his absolute finest
rybird7716 June 2019
I loved this movie as a kid and now enjoy it with my kids. Really one of our favorite family movies. If you haven't seen this please enjoy with the entire family.
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Two richly comic performances from Murray and Dreyfuss...
Doylenf19 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Not since Jack Nicholson played a manipulative, obsessive-compulsive, germ free freak in "As Good As It Gets", has any actor shown such ability as BILL MURRAY does in WHAT ABOUT BOB? to play a neurotic man from the city who has to talk himself into having enough courage to leave his apartment. He's a lovable enough guy, though, who talks to his goldfish and has an otherwise amiable disposition.

Murray is able to draw a fine line between being obnoxious (which he certainly is to Dr. Marvin, played by RICHARD DREYFUSS), to being a charming oaf who wins the approval of the doctor's vacationing family after faking his own suicide with the man's answering service in order to learn where the doctor's vacation spot is.

Of course, all of its grossly exaggerated--as any story would be that deals with a man who drives his own psychiatrist crazy, or at least over the edge, as Murray does. By film's end, Dreyfuss is a wreck of a man who even goes so far as to attach explosives to Murray to get rid of him! And naturally, all of his schemes to rid himself of this clinging neurotic are useless. Murray turns up like a bad penny even after the doctor has assumed him dead--and the vacation home is reduced to zero in an explosion.

Hilariously funny material is given a real boost by the performances of Murray and Dreyfuss, who play off each other with goofy insolence and, at times, in touching and poignant ways. Murray hasn't given this fine a comic performance since GHOSTBUSTERS and Dreyfuss matches him every step of the way.

Julie Hagerty is fun as Dreyfuss' feather-brained wife who enjoys the amiable side of Murray's personality and his utter unpredictability--the very qualities that drive Dreyfuss further and further off his rocker.

I found myself laughing out loud at some of the shenanigans--and all of it is very worthwhile to watch and totally unpredictable.
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a riot
blanche-215 January 2013
Why don't they make movies like this anymore as a norm? Today's comedy is so low-brow and vulgar, in my opinion. "Date Night" was a film that seemed like a throwback. "What About Bob" was made in 1991, and it's super-funny.

Bill Murray plays a completely neurotic, dysfunctional personality who appears to have driven his first psychiatrist out of the business. In the opening frames, we see the doctor frantically packing as he calls psychiatrist Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss), whose book, Baby Steps, has just come out to excellent reviews. Leo's at the top of the world. He won't be for long.

The former doc has passed on a patient, Bob Wiley (Bill Murray), to Dr. Marvin. Dr. Marvin patiently listens to Bill and all his many, many problems, finally stating that he can help Bill, but he's going on vacation with his family and will see Bob upon his return. That's what he thinks.

Bob manages to find out where the good doctor and his family are staying, at a lake, and, after several days of trying to board the bus to the location, manages to swallow his fears and get on. Dr. Marvin is shocked and a little disturbed to see him, especially because he's due to appear on Good Morning, America and has been practicing what he will say and doesn't want any problems.

Unfortunately, Bob is embraced by Leo's wife and children (Julie Hagerty, Charlie Korsmo, and Kathryn Erbe), who are nuts about him. Bob even manages to charm the crew of Good Morning America and gets to be on the show with Dr. Marvin, who is thrilled - not. Dr. Marvin himself becomes increasingly dysfunctional as time goes on and Bob just won't go away.

Absolutely hilarious comedy, made all the better by the fact that everyone plays it totally straight, not going for laughs. Normally I am not a huge fan of Richard Dreyfuss, but he is perfectly cast as Leo Marvin. Bill Murray is wonderful as a likable, manipulative, obsessive-compulsive, dependent neurotic who just won't take 'no' for an answer.

Lots of laughs, including Murray's opening scene, Dreyfuss trying to convince himself that Bob can leave because the rain is "letting up" while it's a monsoon, and many other scenes. If you want to laugh, don't miss this.
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Only a 6.7?!
MartinHafer30 May 2008
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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Stressful, yet funny
cricketbat19 June 2019
What About Bob features very entertaining performances from both Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss, but I can't help but sympathize with Dr. Leo Marvin. After all, an unstable patient he barely met is entering his home, but everyone else acts as if it's totally fine. It stressed me out a bit. Nevertheless, I was still able to laugh at the absurdity of it all.
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Great odd couple pairing
SnoopyStyle16 April 2014
Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) is a wacky oddball. Doctor Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) is a confident NY psychotherapist who is looking forward to a "Good Morning America" appearance to push his book. A colleague pawns Bob off to Leo as a new patient. Bob is immediately attached to Leo and his book's advise of Baby Steps. When Leo tells Bob that he's going on vacation with his family, Bob can't take it and tracks him down. Leo thinks his life is great, but not everything is going as well as he supposes. His townie neighbors hate him. His son is afraid to dive. His daughter hates to be over-analyzed and has normal boy troubles. His wife could do with more consideration from Leo. And worst of all, everybody loves Bob.

Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss make for a great odd couple. They are both doing something within their skill sets. Bill Murray is especially wacky in this, and Dreyfuss plays annoyed very well without being completely unlikeable. One could certainly understand Leo's point of view, but it's also obvious how wrong he is.
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Very funny or very irritating, depending on the viewer
GTeixeira16 March 2014
This relatively simple, good Frank Oz comedy is to me one of Bill Murray's best. In here, the former 'Ghostbuster' star is Bob Wiley, a good-hearted obsessive-compulsive who tracks down his new psychiatrist when he goes on vacation with his family; his annoying but good-hearted actions, coupled with the doctor's upcoming TV interview, cause the man to slowly go crazy himself.

I find this film rather polarizing, exactly because of Murray; or, to be more precise, his character. Bob Wiley is good-hearted and enthusiastic to a fault, to the point of being obnoxious. You can't help feeling sorry for the psychiatrist (a very good Richard Dreyfuss) for having to put up with him. And Murray, himself, does a great job; he is not obnoxious in an overly cheerful/clownish way (like Robin Williams, for example), but rather in the comedic OCD way his character is supposed to be. His is merely great acting; a bit TOO good acting, though, as sometimes I myself felt irritated with Bob.

Richard Dreyfuss does a very good job too. His character, an overly-uptight and arrogant 'genius' psychiatrist, is shown in a way that we should feel he deserves the hell Bob inadvertently brought him; yet, because of Bill Murray, we can't help sympathize with him. Still, his breakdown moments are hilarious and the interactions between Dreyfuss and Murray are perfect.

The supporting cast exists, but it is really Murray's and Dreyfuss' show.

In the end, it comes down to how you cope with Murray's character. Whether you can stand him and laugh, or whether you find him so irritating to the point of being unbearable. I certainly found it quite funny and liked it, and would not hesitate to recommend.
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Funny And Nice
kylehodgdon12 November 2009
"What About Bob?" is a great, good hearted film with a lot of laughs.

Bob is a great character in how he endlessly annoys and irritates Leo. Murray does a great job with his role. The Bob character brings a lot of laughs to the film. A personal highlight of mine is the shirt that he adorns and his reaction to the idea of it.

On the downside, there is nothing that really feels new with this movie. Don't get me wrong, it is a very good story, but it just felt like something I have seen a dozen times before.

This movie is definitely a nice watch and will leave you feeling good and happy. Worth a watch, especially for the brilliance of Murray.
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"Baby Steps" its way to HILARIOUS!!!!
jbartelone23 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
What About Bob? is a wonderful comedy! I am really surprised that its storyline concept has not been done before. In this movie, a prominent psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin, (played by Richard Dreyfus) is gradually and consistently annoyed and disturbed by a VERY pesky, and determined patient! Bob Wiley, (played by Bill Murray.) The chemistry between the two actors is wonderful!

The story involves the good doctor Marvin getting ready to go on vacation. But he has one last VERY neurotic patient to see, Bob Wiley. Bob is paranoid and neurotic about public places, touching things, has hot-sweats, fainting spells.....everything imaginable! He feels Dr. Marvin can help him! But UHHH OH!!! Dr. Marvin explains that he's going away on vacation for several weeks. To help him, he gives Bob his new self-help best-selling book, Baby Steps, detailing how to work out your problems in small, easily manageable stages. But that's not good enough for Bob! While he tries to use Baby Steps to overcome some phobias of getting on an elevator and a bus in public, he CAN'T be without his doctor, no matter what!

Bob fakes his own suicide to get Dr. Marvin's answering service to give him his private number up at the lake. Armed with "Baby Steps" he manages to get up to the lake and see Dr, Marvin. But Dr. Marvin "doesn't see patients on vacation.......EVER!" However, Bob won't leave Dr. Marvin alone! Not only that, he begins to charm and love Dr. Marvin's own family who responds lovingly to Bob! Soon Bob is "helping the family" and they love him, and this is making poor Dr. Marvin.......INSANE! In one of the best scenes, Dr. Marvin's book Baby Steps is nationally accepted to be discussed by him on a TV talk show. The show wants to do a segment with Dr. Marvin at his lake home. But one hilarious problem is: What About Bob? Will he go away and stay away for the interview?

Yea right! Bob has now become a "permanent" patient in Dr. Marvin's life! I love this movie because of the great interactions between Richard Dreyfus and Bill Murray. Equally effective is Julie Hagarty, the zany stewardess from the Airplane movies as his wife. The film is almost perfect. The only downfall, is that it gets a little silly toward the end. But this should not detract from a solid comedy film. It is VERY, VERY funny!
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"Baby steps" - That quote and activity resonates with me!
UniqueParticle9 September 2019
One of the greatest stories/films ever! There's so many great things about so many scenes, I'm ashamed of myself for not owning it by now. The music, the genuine kindness, not belonging, and every illness under the sun is so enlightening to me. Truly unfortunate What About Bob? Didn't get nominated several decades ago. Bill Murray is a remarkable actor for many projects and so is Frank Oz the director.
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What a fun movie!
serafinogm20 January 2018
I saw this film when it came out in 1991 and just rewatched it (a quarter century later) and my enjoyment index hasn't diminished a bit. Dreyfuss and Murray are superb, in fact the whole cast was excellent but I particularly enjoyed the performances by Dreyfuss and Murray. Murray is a terrific comedic talent but Dreyfuss proved to be his equal. I recommend this film for all ages so that they may enjoy some relaxed down time and frequent laugh spasms. This was the first film I saw Murray in where he showed promise as an actor and he has had great success since. For all that Bob put Leo through I hope Dr. Marvin wins the lawsuit!
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It's a comedy really for Murray fans,..not much else
There have been movies released before about crazy or uncontrollable characters let loose to follow a certain somebody and drive them up a wall. The most recognizable of comedies that had this kind of set up were films like Ben Stiller's dark comedy The Cable Guy (1996), Duplex (2003) or Kurt Russell's Captain Ron (1992). Both of which were about main characters' mental issues that somehow were able to get away with everything, meanwhile simultaneously annoying the living crap out of the person they cling on to. This is no different on a narrative level; the formula is all there. The only change are the leads, their positions on the social ladder and the location. The real element that will win over its viewers will be Bill Murray - if you're a big fan of him.

To be realistic it is not a bad performance and Bill Murray doesn't play the worst character. However, he's still not that likable. In fact, none of the characters any actor plays is that likable. The day before Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) leaves for vacation, a fellow psychiatrist transfers one of his patients, Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) to be checked out. After visiting Dr. Marvin, it is revealed to Bob that Dr. Marvin is going on vacation. With that, Bob does everything he can to see his Dr. again for psychiatric help. Tom Schulman best known for writing Dead Poets Society (1989) and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), penned the script for this comedy with the legendary Frank Oz directing.

The strange thing is, like stated before, the execution isn't anything new. The direction is too well known - crazy person introduced to potential host, host becomes victim of crazy person's antics while nobody else believes them. Unlike The Cable Guy (1996) and Duplex (2003) which were mean spirited comedies and Captain Ron (1992) being more dimwitted than anything else, this just plays out irritating. Thankfully, Bill Murray's character wasn't written to be mean spirited, in fact his role is more innocent by nature. The problem is he just doesn't take a hint when someone says leave. With that Bill Murray comes off as more obnoxious than anything else. He's not sick-minded or a jerk, so that kind of makes him acceptable but not likable really because there's little to sympathize for. Bob could be a likable character if he was written more as a character than knows he's causing trouble but can't help it. Instead, Bob causes pain to others and doesn't even notice it. Then again though, that may be due to his dumb surrounding characters.

It truly is amazing to how oblivious people can be. Since when are family members so accepting of a professional's patient to show up on vacation, sleep with them in the same room and eat at their table. Not to mention teaching their kids bad words. Doesn't that raise a couple, if not more than a couple red flags? Haven't they heard of the phrase, "don't bring your work home with you"? Dr. Marvin seems to be the only one who notices and understands that. It's weird because everyone else is so accepting of Bob and yet they don't deal with him in the same manner as Dr. Marvin. Plus, some of the smallest things Bob does everyone finds it hilarious, especially Mrs. Marvin (Julie Hagerty) who is quite annoying too. Saying "MmmmmmMMMMmmm" after every bite of food at the dinner table really stirs up that many chuckles ? It's because of their lack of concern and care for the victim that makes them unlikable as well and contain no charm. Clearly stated in the movie, one of the reasons why people like Bob is because he's fun and old man Dr. Marvin wasn't.

Maybe writer Tom Schulman was trying to get the message across; that you can't live life being a stick-in-the-mud all the time (meaning relax now and then). But aside from one subplot about Dr. Marvin's son trying to learn how to dive, there is no indication of Dr. Marvin being a father who can't have fun. The only reason why nobody finds Dr. Marvin fun is because he's trying to get rid of a patient that is following him and can't get rid of. Wouldn't that make you act rotten too? These supporting characters are so thickheaded. The only actor that is funny on occasion is Richard Dreyfuss. The reason for this being that even going back to the years of Jaws (1975), when Dreyfuss got frustrated, his yelling was more comical than it was dramatic. Nonetheless, since this is a comedy, Dreyfuss is funny in a number of areas because his character has no other way of dealing with the problem (being Bob). Cinematography this time by Michael Ballhaus wasn't anything important, it doesn't showcase much. The music however, composed by Miles Goodman is alright, although it does sound very close to that of his more popular score a year later from The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). It's not terrible but it isn't good comedy either, unless you're a true Bill Murray fan.

Hardcore Bill Murray fans should have no problem with this but if you tire of formulaic host comedies where some crazy person makes everyone turn on the already label victim, it'll be a frustrating sit. It's not the worst because Richard Dreyfuss is funny and Bill Murray's role isn't mean spirited, but the whole play out is just annoying to sit through anyway.
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Watch it for Murray's hilarious turn as the crazy patient
richardsmith-7480623 November 2018
What about Bob is a funny comedy film starring Bill Murray at the top of his game. Murray plays a cook patient of Dreyfuss and the entire film is them going at each other. This is a great early 90s film- rather telling of its time. The film stock, the locations and clothing is dripping with nostalgia. Bill Murray is excellent and Dreyfuss more than holds his own. If you like comedies then this film will appeal to you. Great family entertainment.
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Murray is great
billcr1219 April 2018
Bill Murray is a genius capable of both comedy or drama. Bob is an obsessive compulsive lunatic who finds a self absorbed shrink played by Richard Dreyfuss. The pair have perfect timing with a very strange doctor patient relationship. The doctor has just released a book and is spending his month long vacation on a peaceful lake with his family. Bob shows up and will not leave. The family just love the eccentric Bob, but the doctor-author is driven to insanity by the unwanted guest. The script is tight and the two actors mug for the camera and are terrific in this really funny film.
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