Released in 1991,What About Bob? is a film about multi phobic personality Bob Wiley (Bill Murray, duh) who has a tendency to cling to his psychiatrists. Bob's current doctor pawns him off on Doctor Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfus) who has just written the best seller Baby Steps and is about to go on vacation to Lake Winnipesauke where Good Morning America is coming to talk to him about his book. His final appointment is with Bob who after 10 minutes with Doctor Marvin feels for the first time that there is hope. The breakthrough moment comes when Bob mentions that he is divorced because "There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't. My ex-wife loves him." Doctor Marvin responds with "So what you're saying is that even though you are an almost paralyzed, multi phobic personality who is in a constant state of panic, your wife did not leave you, you left her because she loves Neil Diamond." Bob is stunned when he realises that maybe his wife left him. Let the healing begin. But when Bob learns that Doctor Marvin is about to go on vacation he breaks down and follows him. Bob gains the love and admiration of Doctor Marvin's family and drives Doctor Marvin insane. Doctor Marvin tries to kill Bob and naturally Bob marries Leo's sister.
Let me start by saying that even though I love this movie I can understand why some people don't. My dad, for instance, hates it. I think it's because he is a lawyer and has been a Bishop multiple times. So what I gather is that there have been "Bobs" that have not let my dad have any peace. Can you really imagine how it must be for Doctor Marvin? Now that we are past that, we can get on with enjoying a fantastic comedy. This, I believe, marks the first Bill Murray film where he no longer is the big jerk character (Stripes, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day etc. BTW I DO love those movies). He is a very likable character. Kind, caring, funny. I think that's why we sympathize with Bob even though his behavior is outrageously inappropriate.
This movie has one of my favorite quotes ever. In the beginning of the film Bob turns to his Goldfish and says "Good morning, Gill." Not getting a response from Gill, Bob fixes the fish with a steely glare and says "I said, good morning, Gill." The delivery is fantastic. I also love when Bob tracks down Leo at the Lake and goes into his plea "Check it out! I'm really bad! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! I need! I need! I need!" There are two scenes in this movie that almost make my sweet wife...well let's just say she can't watch it when she's pregnant and there's already too much pressure on the old bladder. The first is near the beginning of the film when Bob is at the bus stop and a bus passes by. After the bus passes we see bob on the ground crawling around. The other is Bob eating dinner with the Marvins.
Something I find great in an odd way is having Richard Dreyfus for Doctor Marvin. You see, I haven't liked a single Richard Dreyfus film since Jaws. And I didn't like any before Jaws. Really Jaws is the only Dreyfus movie for me. Can you imagine if he had been picked as Han Solo? Ugh! So I LOVE having Richard Dreyfus being the victim of Bob turning the good Doctor's family against him.
Now there is one part of the movie I don't like. If the Guttman's saved all that money, why didn't they buy another dream house on the lake? They are stuck living above there store because the Marvin's bought their dream home? What happaned to all that money they saved? It get's me.
But that's not so big a deal. I can forgive the Guttman's because I assume they sold Bob his fantastic "Don't Hassle Me. I'm Local" T-shirt. Ahoy Bill Murrray fans. This movie, just like Bob, sails.
So tell me what you think. And don't forget to suggest your favorite (not Rated R) Halloween film. My pick is Night of the Living Dead.