19 September 2007

What About Bob?

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.


Swint said...

I have two favorite lines. First, in the dinner scene when he asks, "is this corn hand shucked?" and when he is tied up on the boat and he is yelling "I'm Sailing, I'm sailing!" These get me everytime.
Also our favorite Prez candidate has a home on Lake Winnepesaukee, everyone vote for Mitt.

Halloween movie? Not R? Well if R were allowed I would suggest Silence of the Lambs, but not R I would say...well I don't remember the title but there is an old film about a haunted old home, a wheelchair and a bathtub and some kid. But that is all I remember, It was a good show though, so I will recommend that if anyone remembers the name. Or the cheesy Addams Family, that is easy.

Swint said...

Thanks to Roy, we figured it out. My recommendation is the Changeling. It is a little seen movie, but a very good halloween one. The fact that it is so rarely seen, makes this the ideal choice for October.

joN. said...

i'm surprised your dad doesn't like it. i would think that laughing at bob would be therapeudic -- kind of like laughing at the horrible situation in office space (i think we've all been there).

i'm also surprised that you actually "like" bob. i guess he could be labeled "likable" because he's nice, but i don't like that label just because i find him impossible to like. most people i know don't like the aspect of the movie that it's only dreyfuss and the other shrink who don't like bob, but the rest of the family and most other people in the movie don't seem to find him annoying at all. how do they do that? sure he's funny to us, the audience, but in real life i really would want to take a blunt instrument to his head.

dreyfuss, as much as you don't like him, actually mutters the funniest line in the movie. it's "gehauuhuhhyaakaahh!!!," which, with subtitles would translate to "get out of the car!"

the daughter in the family looks EXACTLY like a friend i had in middle school. he got really bugged when i told him.

halloween movies, eh? i have three.

i've been thinking of the 1978 'invasion of the body snatchers' movie lately, because i lent it to maria and she really didn't like it and also they made another remake of it this year with nicole kidman that the critics apparently absolutely loathed (although there is some interesting social commentary they i guess emphasised in that movie where the more the pods took over the earth, the more peace there was).

it's been a long long lonely time since i've seen it, but remember 'lady in white?'


J.R. said...

I admit that it does strike me as very indecent of his family that they don't have more sympathy for Leo's situation. I think in real life the wife would agree to file for a restraining order.

Lady In White. Isn't that the scary movie we all dared each other to watch in Junior High? Poltergeist is a fine choice and the fact that it's directed by Tobe Hooper (IMDB that if you want to be impressed) is a real bonus. Good comments and movie choices all.

Carl said...

So, I didn't like What about Bob much, probably more because of Richard Dryfuss than anything. Mr. Holland's Opus is his only good movie in my opinion.

As far as good (non-R) Halloween movies go, I'd have to say The Village. It doesn't necessarily have the Halloween theme, but it's creepy and it's set in the Fall, but mainly because the Sixth Sense doesn't really do it for me anymore.

My love to all!

Carl said...

Sorry, I misspelled Dreyfuss' name.

Anton said...

What About Bob is a very hilarious movie. I love it every time I see it. It has been a while since I have seen it though, I should watch it.
As for a Halloween movie The Ring is a good one. Although I don't think I'll ever watch it again. We watched it a couple years ago on Halloween and we got really freaked out every time a trick-or-treater came to the door. We also had to move the TV that had been at the foot of our bed. We kept having images of things crawling out of our TV.

Maker said...

"What About Bob?" is a good movie.


Maker said...

I vote for "Lady In White".
I think Pete would also agree with my vote so that counts for 2.


Maker said...

Actually, I am changing my vote. I nominate Chuds 1 of Chuds 2.
'Nuff said.


wlf said...

WLF has sent you a link to a blog:

Nobody - not even Dr. Leo Marvin - deserves a multi-phobic who obsessively/compulsively latches on to his family and alienates them from their father (despite his flaws). To really like Bob and his behavior requires, I'm afraid, more than little sadism as far as poor Leo is concerned.