Rolling Stone - 06/27/1991
"...Expert comic teamwork..."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/06/1996
"...[A reminder] that Murray really is the movies' drollest nutjob..." -- Rating: B
New York Times - 05/17/1991
"...[Dreyfus and Murray are] fortuitous teaming..."
Los Angeles Times - 05/17/1991
"...Murray and Dreyfuss have the kind of temperamental oppositeness that great comedy teams thrive on. Just seeing them together is funny..."
Bob Wiley, a walking encyclopedia of psychological troubles, seeks help from an egotistical psychiatrist who promptly takes off for a quiet family vacation. Bob follows in quiet desperation, quickly endearing himself to the doctor's family but slowly driving the doctor completely mad in this excruciatingly funny film starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss.
Description by Buena Vista Home Entertainment:
What About Bob'
Comic wizard Bill Murray (CRADLE WILL ROCK, RUSHMORE) teams up with Academy Award(R)-winner Richard Dreyfuss teams up with (Best Actor, 1978, THE GOODBYE GIRL; MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS) in an outrageously wild comedy that's sure to drive you off the deep end! Murray plays Bob Wiley, a troubled but lovable therapy patient who fears everything! After seeking help from noted psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Dreyfuss), Bob feels revived. But when the good doctor skips town to go on a quiet family vacation, Bob, afraid of being alone, follows -- showing up unexpectedly at the therapist's lakeside retreat. That's when the fun really begins! Bob innocently becomes the houseguest who just won't leave -- endearing himself to the other family members ... and, in the end, driving the stressed-out shrink absolutely crazy!
The day he leaves on a month's vacation, best-selling author and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) acquires a new patient, the multiphobic Bob Wiley (Bill Murray). Consumed by his fears of germs, enclosed spaces, and other people, Bob tracks Dr. Marvin to his New Hampshire retreat and arrives on his doorstep for treatment. Dr. Marvin's professional but strained advice to "take a vacation from your phobias" is translated by Bob to mean "take a vacation in New Hampshire," and he starts to become a fixture in their home, to Marvin's growing incredulity and rage--especially when his wife and children, charmed by Bob's childlike enthusiasm, start to think Bob is more fun than Marvin. There seems to be only one way to get rid of Bob, and that's to do it permanently.
Murray and Dreyfuss balance each other perfectly, one growing more sane as the other stumbles toward madness. A quirky family comedy, Frank Oz's WHAT ABOUT BOB' encourages viewers to stop being so straight-laced and start having fun.
Family (General) |
Family Interaction |
Mental Illness |
Though they gave the role of Dr. Leo Marvin to Richard Dreyfuss, filmmakers originally discussed Woody Allen for the part.
"Is this a bad time'"--neurotic patient Bob Wiley (Bill Murray) to psychiatrist Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss), after he crashes Marvin's New Hampshire retreat
"It's as important for me to see you dive as it is for me to appear on GOOD MORNING AMERICA."--Dr. Marvin to his son, Siggy, who is afraid of diving into the lake near their summer retreat