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4.6 out of 5 stars
What About Bob?
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99 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2006
Masterfully directed by Frank Oz, this comedy is one of the brightest spots in a long line of tasteless 90's comedies. In an era where comedies are dominated by sex, crudity, and horrid language, "What About Bob?" is a breath of fresh air. The comedy is a harmless and sinless masterpiece of irony with chuckles. The head-scratching, laugh-at-loud compulsive mannerisms combined with symptoms of paranoia from patient Bob Wiley (B. Murray) pushes this film to the top of clean comedies. Bob has issues. Bob is afraid to touch things without a handkerchief. Bob is afraid of crowds. Bob has fears of his bladder exploding. Bob is afraid of anything and everything outside his apartment. But Bob finds hope in a new and famous psychiatrist named Dr. Leo Marvin (R. Dreyfuss). Dr. Marvin is at the pinacole of his career with his new best selling help-book that has earned him fame. When Dr. Marvin takes Bob on as his client, he has no idea what he's getting himself into.

Bob goes bananas when his new doctor, Leo Marvin, decides to go on vacation and will not be available to treat Bob for a whole month. Desperate for his doctor, Bob tracks Dr. Marvin down. The relaxing Leo Marvin has his vacation interrupted and imposed upon by a friend-seeking Bob Wiley, who wants to enjoy Dr. Marvin's vacation time with him. Dr. Marvin, shocked by Bob's behavior, is unable to convince Bob to leave. Before Dr. Marvin can begin to realize that Bob has latched onto him, Bob is aleady befriending Dr. Marvin's entire household; which includes his wife (J. Hagerty) and son (C. Korsmo) and daughter. Resentment and jealousy become evident in Dr. Marvin as his growing frustration with Bob intensifies. As Bob grows more popular with everyone, Dr. Marvin sinks into a state of irrational hatred toward his new patient. Eventually Bob shows evidence of progress as Dr. Marvin displays signs of regress.

Even though the movie is a great comedy, it is truly a psychology film. It takes a neurotic, crazy man--Bob Wiley--and puts him into a setting he doesn't belong in, and he improves. On the flip side it takes a successful, sane man--Dr. Marvin--and places him into situations he doesn't want, and he deteriorates. The irony is the patient becomes sane as the doctor turns insane. It's a very clever concept by Oz and it should be applauded, because it makes the movie very funny.

No doubt that the film succeeds in its comic aim and ironic formulas, while sending a distinct message that it's all right not to be entirely sane and serious. Bob Wiley is the perfect, likeable looney while Dr. Marvin is the serious stiff that we all want to see lighten up a tad.

The movie is rated "PG," with hardly any offensive elements. There is no sex, no nudity, no violence (although hints of killing is mentioned), and mild language. A joke that Bob tells has a crude reference, but it's nothing to shutter from. The film is quite clean in an age of film-making that has been anything but.

In summary, "What About Bob?" is the perfect family comedy. It is light-hearted, genuine, and funny for everyone. If any criticism could be applied is that it is simply not long enough and goes by too fast. To say the least, it's a gem worthy of praise and laughs.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2001
"Hello, I'm Bob. Would you knock me out, please?" To paraphrase Bob on Neil Diamond, there are two types of people in this world -- those who like What About Bob and those who don't. It's such a shame comedies never really win oscars -- especially for absolutely priceless Richard Dreyfuss here. (It's a toss up between this and Groundhog Day for Bill Murray's best.) Human crazy glue patient Murray and "Baby Steps" author/psychoanalyst Dreyfuss and his "fam" trying to take a vacation -- "just me and the family and my book" -- years since its release, I still sometimes leave What About Bob running as background priceless comic relief and it's still Dreyfuss who leaves me sore and speechless. (It does get a little bit weak at the end, but the flying bust of Freud pretty much makes up for that.) The memorable quotes are nonstop. "That patient Bob committed suicide. Oh, well, let's not let it spoil our vacation." Perfect "who's the crazy one?" writing, beyond perfect comic timing and acting, perfect silly soundtrack -- near perfect casting including Julie Hagerty as the dangerously naive wife whose blouse is the same fabric as the couch and the bus driver "Wing" ("You think you can do it today, Bob? We have a baby schedule to keep."). "I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful." There should be midnight showings ala Rocky Horror of What About Bob. Not to be missed, sometimes not to be taken out of the VCR.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2000
Funny, funny,funny! I laughed all the way through this movie! The chemistry between annoying but lovable patient "Bob," (Bill Murray), and the extremely uptight Dr. Leo Marvin, (Richard Dryfuss), is pure perfection! The writing is excellent, as is the casting. This movie is a classic; one you can watch over and over and over - and still find the line: "There are two types of people in the world - those who LIKE Neil Diamond, and those who don't" as hysterical as the very first time you heard it! (I just wish this movie would come out on DVD)!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
What a great comedy this is! I had watched it in 1995 and I laughed a lot. Recently I bought the DVD to watch it again with my family. And sure enough we laughed to the point that our stomachs were acking.

A nice surprise was to notice that Frank Oz is the director of this movie as well. He has also done the dirty rotten scoundrels, a movie I have in my top 5. What is common in these two movies, is for sure, the great locations both of them are filmed, as well as the chemistry between the protagonists. Also the soundrtract of this two movies is very similar.

During the movie is amazing how your compassion shifts from Bill Murray to Richard Dreyfuss and vice versa. At the end of course Richard Dreifuss is to be pitied. Admitedly in the beginning what takes place in New York can make you think is a so and so comedy but when the action moves at the country house of the octor then the movie becomes a masterpiece.

A very entertaining movie with great laughs where my favorite moments are when everybody recognizes Bill Murray from his appearence to Good Morning America whereas Richard Dreyfuss who sit just next to him passes completly unnoticed.

I am sure that this is by far the best movie of Bill Murray (not of Frank Oz though I believe Dirty rotten scoundrels are much better with better comic climaxes is ALL the scenes). Great movie for family entairtainment and a good movie to suggest to your friends. Be prepared to laugh a lot.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The '91 film `What About Bob' is an insanely funny film featuring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss at their comedic best.

Synopsis: Life is good for Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss), a well respected and accomplished psychiatrist. His continued success seems assured with the release of his landmark book, "Baby Steps." However Dr. Marvin's perfect world begins to fall apart when he meets a new patient, Bob Wiley (Bill Murray). Bob is the ultimate neurotic and hounds the poor Doctor day and night with his problems. Before this hilarious movie comes to an end you're left to wonder who's the real neurotic.

`What About Bob' is non-stop fun from beginning to end with lots of great quotable lines and inventive situations. A true comedy classic!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2007
"What About Bob" is PURE COMEDY!!! It has to be one of Bill Murray's very best (in a career that spanned the last 30 years that's no small accomplishment.) Another great movie with Bill Murray is the lesser-known Quick Change.

Bill Murray plays Bob Wiley (I love that name, isn't that just the perfect name for a lunatic?), a man with a lot of psychological problems and phobias. When he meets his latest shrink, Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) all h-e-l-l breaks loose!

Where Bob is totally silly and screw-ballish, Dr. Marvin is the total opposite. I couldn't stop laughing when Dr. Marvin got the call in the middle of the night informing him that Bob committed suicide; he just clapped his hands (he must have a "clapper") to turn off the light and rolls over to go back to sleep!

But Bob didn't kill himself. No, this man wants to live! He made up some cockamamie story so he could track down Dr. Marvin at his vacation residence. It's so funny (and crazy) the way Bob can clean up his act and pretend to be sane when he wants to find Dr. Marvin. Remember how he dressed up like that cop and went to Dr. Marvin's exchange?

Fortunately, (for Bob) he meets Mr. and Mrs. Gutman (Tom Aldredge and Susan Willis) who are only too glad to drop Bob off at Dr. Marvin's home. To say that this couple hates Dr. Marvin with a passion would be an understatement. Every time Mrs. Gutman sees him or hears his name she says in her thick German accent, "son of a vitch," immediately followed up by her husband saying, "she never says that."

Once Bob starts getting acclimated in his new surroundings, Dr. Marvin's family starts to take to him. Because, as Dr. Marvin's daughter Anna (Kathryn Erbe) yells to her dad: BOB IS FUN! Bob also gets Siggy (Charlie Korsmo,) Dr. Marvin's depressed son to come out of his shell. He even gets him to dive into the lake; something Dr. Marvin was only able to do after he comically-accidentally dropped him in during a swimming lesson.

One of my favorite parts of the movie was when Bob came to Dr. Marvin's for dinner. Right when Bob is supposed to leave there is a horrible rain storm. Fay (Julie Hagerty,) Dr. Marvin's sweet wife insists that Bob stay the night. But Dr. Marvin was not having it. Besides despising the idea of taking second fiddle, he didn't want Bob to be anywhere near his home the following morning because he was to be interviewed by Good Morning America. So, they stay up and wait for the rain to stop. It never stops. So, Bob stays the night.

Soon, it is apparent to Dr. Marvin that Bob isn't going to leave (both his home and his life.) And, Dr. Marvin also realizes that Bob isn't the odd man out. It's him! Dr. Marvin is the one who has become obsessive and neurotic. Bob knows how to have a good time and is free-spirited.

What does Dr. Marvin do to get rid of Bob? What happens to Bob? What happens to Dr. Marvin...?

"What About Bob" will keep you in stitches because you will laugh from beginning to end. All of the performances are top-notch. Bill Murray and Richard Dryfuss worked especially well together. This movie also has so many classic lines, "baby steps..." No one can sit through this movie stone-faced. And, no one can be in a bad mood after they watch it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2002
WHAT ABOUT BOB is one of the funniest (and most underrated) comedies ever and one of my favourite movies. The master of craziness Bill Murray has one of his best roles as the neurotic Bob Wiley, who seeks help from renowned psychiatrist Dr Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss). As Leo's patient, Bob follows him to his holiday house at Lake Winnapisokee, where the crazy Bob pesters his exasperated Doc for answers to his problems. Directed with aplomb by Frank "Yoda" Oz, the witty back-and-forth and gradually increasing craziness between Dreyfuss and Murray is fantastic, with an outstanding script and superb comedic timing. It's also one of the few comedies that stands to repeat viewings to catch the numerous gags.
The film also stars Julie Hagerty (Airplane) as Leo's wife and Charlie Korsmo (from Steven Spielberg's Hook) as Sigmund 'Siggy' Marvin. But this movie belongs to Murray. Only betterd by his brilliant Phil Conners in GROUNDHOG DAY, his neuroticism provides some great laughs ("I want, I want, gimme, gimme, gimme, I need I need!"). Which is exactly what people are saying about this DVD. Must-have comedy.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2005
This movie has me holwing every time. It's a wonderful comedy. And NO, Bob does NOT annoy me. I mean c'mon, it's just a movie. This is an absolutely a treasure among comedies! And on DVD, it's spectacular. Everything about this movie spells perfection. P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N. Deal with it, this movie is great! Bill Murray is the best! The plot is sooo good I'm gonna start laughing. Yeah, I know, I'm over the top. Who cares? Certainly not I. Check it out if you ever stop by Blockbuster...it's certainly worth your time!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2002
The story is pretty simple. Bill Murray stars as Bob Wiley, a manic who invades the life and family of Dr. Leo Marvin, a psychiatrist played by Richard Dreyfuss. Bob comes to him for guidance but Dr. Leo is in a rush to go on his summer vacation, so he gets brushed off and sent out the door with a copy of the Dr.'s new best-selling book, Baby Steps. Bob can't handle it himself and decides to follow Dr. Leo to his vacation home. Bob's insistent efforts to get to Dr. Leo causes his family to become endeared to him and his child-like qualities, while Dr. Leo sees Bob's efforts so invasive he starts to become unhinged himself.
This movie is a real treat. Great performances all around and one of Bill Murray's funniest roles. From watching the reaction of the family members, one wonders how much of the goofiness was improvised by Murray. Dreyfuss is splendid also as he slowly loses his patience and eventually his sanity. It gets a solid four stars and a buy recommendation. Watch it when you need a lift. But remember--baby steps... baby steps...
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2006
Certaintly qualifying for one or Murray's more underappreciated films/roles, What About Bob? hits all the bases without being too cliche about it.

Bob Wiley (Murray) is a severely psychologically unhealthy individual, but he means well. His newest victim/doctor, the megalomaniacal Dr. Leo Marvin (Dreyfuss) just wants to enjoy his vacation with is family, but Bob refuses to go away.

At first what appears to be a light hearted, goofy comedy, actually turns out to be a fairly smart and warm hearted film about a man who just wants to be loved, even if he is a bit overbearing, and the dismantling of one man's ego...so badly that he goes into a catatonic state.

A true comedy classic.
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