What About Bob?


What About Bob?

Critics Consensus

Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss' chemistry helps make the most of a familiar yet durable premise, elevating What About Bob? into the upper ranks of '90s comedies.



Reviews Counted: 42

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 119,178


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.3/5

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Movie Info

In this comedy about a doctor-patient relationship pushed way beyond the office, Bill Murray plays Bob Wiley, a neurotic New Yorker struggling with a whirlwind of paralyzing phobias. When an exasperated colleague pawns the handful off on Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss), the psychologist has no idea his last appointment will follow him north to New Hampshire on a month's vacation. Bob takes to Dr. Marvin's latest book like no therapy before it, so the well-meaning pest tracks Marvin down at his lakeside summer home to further discuss his problems. But Marvin, preparing for an interview on Good Morning America and a few weeks of R and R, views Bob's stalking as highly inappropriate, and demands he return to New York. But Bob can't take even the strongest hint, and sets up camp with a neighbor to indulge in his own "vacation" -- from his problems. Meanwhile, Marvin's son Sigmund (Charlie Korsmo), daughter Anna (Catherine Erbe), and wife Fay (Julie Hagerty) take to Bob's loopy charm, which Marvin views as an irritating threat. Marvin's temperature rises as Bob insinuates his way into the family, helping Sigmund learn to dive and counseling the previously ignored Anna. As Bob's stock continues to rise, and his to plummet, Marvin becomes increasingly unhinged as the minutes tick down to the interview.

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Bill Murray
as Bob Wiley
Richard Dreyfuss
as Dr. Leo Marvin
Julie Hagerty
as Fay Marvin
Charlie Korsmo
as Siggy Marvin
Kathryn Erbe
as Anna Marvin
Tom Aldredge
as Mr. Guttman
Susan Willis
as Mrs. Guttman
Brian Reddy
as Carswell Fensterwald
Doris Belack
as Dr. Tomsky
Melinda Mullins
as Marie Grady
Aida Turturro
as Prostitute
Stuart Rudin
as Crazy Man in New York Street
Cortez Nance Jr.
as Lobby Doorman
Lori Tan Chinn
as Bus Driver
Dennis Scott
as Motorcycle Cop
Charles Thomas Baxter
as Nursing Home Guard
Donald J Lee Jr
as Nursing Home Attendant
Reg E. Cathey
as Howie--Director
Tom Stechschulte
as Lennie--Producer
Russell Bobbitt
as TV Crew Member
Richard Fancy
as Minister
Joan Lunden
as Herself
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Critic Reviews for What About Bob?

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (9)

  • Murray and Dreyfuss play off each other to their maximum advantage: Murray does what he does best, to shine-on and ultimately destroy authority figures, while Dreyfuss' portrayal of the runty doctor is splendidly Napoleonic.

    May 21, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Murray, with his curious blend of pathos and aggressiveness, is terrific, and so is an acutely uptight Dreyfuss, never once copping a plea for our sympathy.

    Oct 5, 2008 | Full Review…
  • This cruel but effective black comedy violates credibility at almost every turn, but the concept itself is so strong hat it winds up working pretty well anyway.

    Mar 13, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Bill Murray finds a real showcase for his oft-shackled talent in this manic comedy.

    Mar 13, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • With Dreyfuss and Murray on top form, not even the familiar plotline -- uptight rich person meets free-wheeling poor person and learns about life -- can prevent this lunatic comedy from being funny.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Somehow, Mr. Dreyfuss maintains his sound comic timing even when Frank Oz's antic direction calls for hand-waving hysteria.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/5

Audience Reviews for What About Bob?

Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus play off each other so well that I really believed they were those characters. When a man with issues get's assigned a new shrink just as that shrink is about to go on vacation with his family, he follows him all around to make himself better and overcome his phobia's. Due to this, unintentional hilarity ensues for them and I found myself busting a gut every minute. No, "What About Bob?" is not a masterpiece in an regard, but if you look at it as a straight up comedy then you can have a blast with it. Well-written, well-acted, and well-directed, this film is very solid all around, but there was just something about Richard Dreyfus's character that pissed me off. He never really has a full character arch and he becomes more and more of an annoying dick as the film comes to a close, almost to the point of me not caring about his character anymore. Overall, this a very very funny movie that I would highly recommend.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Murray and Dreyfuss are great.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer


A little rare jewel. A terrific, unique and obligatory comedy. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer


What About Bob? is one of those little comic gems that sort of came and went, and you don't really hear people talking very much about it these days. It was a staple for me when it first came out and I saw it often. There are some hilarious performances from both Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss housed inside a very funny story. It's marvelous that they got these two to do a movie together and it turn out so well. The only thing that seems off to me is the supporting cast. I always felt the family was a little off and the angry neighbors should have been given larger comic roles. Regardless, this is one of the funniest films to come from my childhood and I treasure it dearly.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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