After “Ghostbusters II” but before his other comedic genius “Groundhog Day”, Bill Murray made his best movie in my eyes (Yes, after “Ghostbusters” and “Caddyshack”. A buddy comedic romp called “What About Bob?” with him and Richard Dreyfuss.
“What About Bob?” tells the story of Bob Wiley (Bill Murray), a sweet neurotic, hypochondriac yet unknowingly manipulative man who has a habit of clinging to his Psychologist too much to the point they each dump him off to a colleague and run away.
He is now under the care of Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss), a smug, egotistical Psychologist who is more concerned about his new book, “Baby Steps” and his career then tending to his loving yet somewhat dysfunctional family with his sweet, doting wife Faye (Julie Hagerty from Airplane), rebellious daughter Anna and little Siggy who is full of angst.
When he tells Bob, he will be going away on vacation to the lake in New Hampshire for Labor Day to be with the family and promote his book on “Good Morning America”. Bob given his psychosis freaks out and ends up finding a way to tracking Leo and his family down at the Lake. Because of Bob’s likability and understanding, Leo’s family and others immediately takes to him which angers and threatens Leo and hijink ensue with Leo attempting to be rid of Bob in any way possible including possibly killing him.
The genius of this movie was, you’re instantly on Bob’s side from the beginning of the movie. He is neurotic with many issues though he is a sweet person who’s just trying to figure out his problems. You’re immediately against Dr. Leo, because he is kind’ve of a Pompous Asshole.
The movie does one hell of a 360 flip later on in which you eventually sympathize with the Dr. Leo character though you still think he’s as an asshole. Because while Bob is a nice person and unaware he is doing this, he is very annoying, intrusive and manipulative. But please note, Bob is not doing this on purpose nor even recognize he’s doing this. He just can’t help it and Leo is still an asshole though you sympathize with him.
It has many classic moments and one-liners. I highly recommend this especially for anyone who loves Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus.
Enjoy your Mid-Day Sunday Snack!
-V. For Vinnie