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  • by David C. Terr

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    what about bob movie posterTitle: What About Bob?

    Director: Frank Oz

    Starring: Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Julie Hagerty, Charles Korsmo, Kathryn Erbe

    Release Date: May 17, 1991

    Running Time: 99 min

    Genre: Comedy


    What About Bob? is a hilarious comedy starring Richard Dreyfuss as a stuffy, uptight psychiatrist and Bill Murray as his highly neurotic yet fun-loving patient. The comic acting is great, especially Bill Murray's. This is the funniest film I've seen him in. Dreyfuss also does a terrific acting job.

    Plot Summary
    Dr. Leo Marvin (Dreyfuss) is a successful New York psyciatrist who's getting ready for an important family vacation in which he is to appear on "Good Morning America" to introduce his new book, "Baby Steps". Bob Wiley (Murray) comes to him desperately needing help following a bad divorce. Dr. Marvin is not sympathetic at all to Bob, being more concerned with his own well-being. He gives Bob a copy of "Baby Steps", tells him to read it and come back to him in a month, following his vacation.

    Bob is very troubled and insists on seeing Dr. Marvin in any case. He manages to track him down at his vacation home, where he is staying with his wife and two children. Bob introduces himself to Leo's family, who are very friendly to him, but Leo is enraged with him. Bob opens up to the rest of the family, helping them and himself in the process, but Leo becomes more and more angry. Following a horrible TV interview in which he has no choice but to let Bob appear with him, Leo finally can't take it anymore and kicks him out of the house. Things continue to get worse for Leo and better for Bob until Bob finally ends up marrying Leo's sister.

    Social Relevance
    What About Bob? is one of many films which poke fun at psychiatry, a couple of others being The Couch Trip and High Anxiety. But I think there's a grain of truth to What About Bob? For a year and a half, I had a horrible psyciatrist in Chicago whom Dr. Marvin reminded me of in many ways, and I wish I'd been more like Bob with him! Bob ends up getting the help he needs from the rest of Leo's family, who think he's fun and appreciate him for who he is. I think we all need some of that kind of fun in our lives, no matter how crazy we may be!

    Movie Clips

    Here's a funny clip of Bob's first visit to Dr. Marvin.


    Here's a hilarious clip of Bob sailing.

    Here's a classic scene.


    Here's a scene of Bob waking up.


    Bob ends up driving Dr. Marvin crazy.

    Leo tries to have Bob committed, to no avail.


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