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.



Total Count: 43


Audience Score

User Ratings: 119,180
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What About Bob? Photos

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 (43) | 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?

  • Dec 05, 2015
    Great comedy, very funny and likable throughout. An old favorite.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 15, 2015
    A predictable comedy of a familiar premise made well thanks to Bill Murray and the ensemble.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2014
    This might be one the few movies where you can say that Bill Murray ISN'T the highlight of the film. Seriously, think of how many films he's been in. Then think of how he's, more than likely, been one of the best parts of the film. Well this is the rare example where Murray, while still greatly entertaining, isn't the highlight. Richard Dreyfuss' descent into madness as Bob becomes increasingly more involved in his life, even to the point of "turning" his family against him, is comedy gold. Bob shows the family that Leo is boring and arrogant. This, of course, eats up at Leo and his transformation into a madman that is driven to attempted murder is really entertaining to see. Unfortunately, I don't think the film translates Richard's excellent performance into a great film. Yes, it's definitely a funny film, but it's also a terribly inconsistent one. Until Bob finds his way to where Leo and his family are vacationing, nothing that funny happens. And even then, it takes a while of Bob's constant presence before Leo starts to lose his mind and plan his murderous revenge. The plot is a little sitcom-y, it's all about the hi-jinks. Thankfully, Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss do a great job at elevating predictable, and familiar, material. Another thing I enjoyed was Leo's antagonistic manner towards Bob. It felt very genuine. That's most likely because Richard and Bill purposely didn't get along during filming. Richard encouraged Bill to annoy him on purpose. And you just don't see that that often in these types of film. That type of method acting, I think that gives the film most of its entertainment value. Richard Dreyfuss is the perfect straight man to Murray's goofy, silly character. Some of Richard's facial expressions are priceless. I definitely enjoyed my time with this film, it's not great or anything of the sort, but you can't really go wrong with Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray going off on each other. You really cannot go wrong.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2012
    What About Bob? is a classic Bill Murray film that's outrageously hilarious. From director Frank Oz comes this tale about a neurotic therapy patient that becomes obsessed with his therapist. Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss make for a great comedy team and deliver a ton of laughs. The film is especially well written and is able to both develop the characters and tell a quirky, entertaining story. What About Bob? is a wonderful comedy that's fun for all ages.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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