What's Up, Doc? - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

What's Up, Doc? Reviews

Page 1 of 44
½ January 15, 2017
While it has little more than the factor of sheer entertainment going for it, "What's Up, Doc?" carries itself with its own hilarious antics.
½ January 7, 2017
Screwball comedies to me are very black and white - it's either done correctly and it's a goddamn masterpiece or it just misses the mark and is a deflated bore. It takes that perfect, scientifically calculated measurement of talent, timing, writing, absurdity, believability and honest reactions. I feel like most screwball comedies rarely achieve all six, let alone the correct portions of each. (Though I'll also be honest, screwball comedies in general just aren't really my thing, so I definitely have higher standards for them.)

What's Up, Doc? is one of those magical few that manages to get it just right primarily because of its general consistent absurdity and swap of gender roles for the leading characters.

This movie is like a total female fantasy movie - which is amazing considering its written by Bogdanovich and three other men (though with talent like Buck Henry, not terribly surprising). It sort of feels like a mixture of a 'happy accident' and playing off of Streisand's towering presence. I mean, seeing as it's a screwball comedy, it was most likely part of the joke to make Streisand wolfishly and relentlessly pursue the handsome-but-doesn't-know-it-because-he-wears-glasses Ryan O'Neal. But watching this movie in 2017 it's actually just sort of awesome? It's rare to see the female/male depicted in film this way, Streisand is basically the hero of the film as she gets everything she wants through manipulation by the end of it - mainly her dream 'girl,' Ryan. (Not that this concept was foreign in the 70s, I mean, Beatlemania should have taught them that if nothing else.) I got a kick out of how amusingly underdeveloped Ryan O'Neal is as a character too, they gave him the classic 'bond girl' treatment (re: arm candy to be obtained, nothing much more).

There's a very psychedelic swinging'-late-60s-early-70s color pallet to this film adds to the cartoon-esque feeling. The scenes around San Francisco are excellent, and the rampant references to other films - including Bringing up Baby and Bullitt - are fun. Streisand's character walks the line between obnoxious and amusing- I like that they give her some flashes depth and intelligence on top of her hijinks. And like, yeah, Ryan O'Neal in thick 70s glasses is AAAAA+++++ to look at.

All in all, pleasantly surprised by this one. While I didn't really laugh out loud during this, it was self-aware enough to have consistent punch
½ November 27, 2016
Hilarious! Too good!
July 23, 2016
Mostly slapstick farce about a musicologist vying for a grant and the ensuing chaos over four identical suitcases. What's new, Doc?
Super Reviewer
½ July 18, 2016
More than just a clever homage, it's also really hilarious. If the set-up seems flimsy you just have to remember that Streisand is essentially playing a live action Bugs Bunny, wreaking havoc in every scene. Appropriately, everyone in the cast give perfectly cartoonish performances.
½ July 8, 2016
A luggage shell game that sets out to wreck San Francisco.
June 29, 2016
Caught this on the big screen at Chelsea's classics night and what a treat. It is one of my favorite films of all time for its genre of comedy, where Streisand proves herself on all fronts (not that she hadn't already by 1970) as a singer, sex symbol, comedienne, performer. I do consider this her most alluring role, especially the scene with her laying on the piano signing "As Time Goes By" to Ryan. So many memorable performances, certainly Madeline Kahn as Eunice Burns.
February 26, 2016
Funny early 70s comedy that was a throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1930s, particylarly something like "Bringing Up Baby" in which Streisand kind of plays the Hepburn character, and O'Neal is doing his best flustered Cary Grant. The movie involves a series of identical bags being traded and moved around sometimes unknowingly by the characters...and Streisand steps in to just wreak havoc on O'Neal's life as he attempts to win a grant. It is good fun, and captures that classic screwball feel while updating it a bit for a 70s audience. Those things should most definitely date the film, but they really don't, because at it's core this movie is pretty damn funny. The best bit is definitely the chase scene through San Fransisco near the end...it is big grandiose, slapstick fun. Oddly enough I saw at least some of this movie as a kid, and I'm not sure if I came in at the chase scene or not, but before discovering it's title, I had a very vivid memory of seeing that chase and the subsequent courtroom scene. I'm glad seeing it as an adult it proved to be even funnier than I remember.
February 22, 2016
Laugh out loud comedy!
February 6, 2016
HOWARD, WHY DOES SHE CALL YOU STEVE? - "The Story of Dr. Bannister and Mr. Steve",

...good olī Burnsy asks her completely overwhelmed fiance Howard "Steve" bannister. But in vain!
There is simply no answer to this question or to who for now is trying to grab just which one of the 4 completely identical bags with - of course - completely un-identical content. Because even before such questions only one of the numerous members of this motley heap of loonies could possibly answer at all, Barbra Streisand as Queen Qaos long already has added even more chaotic chaos to the chaotic situation, so that neither Steve nor Howard ever know whether they are male or female! It is simply H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S.

yes, HILARIOUS. In the very best slapstick and screwball manner director Bogdanovich speeeeeeeeeds up as you have never seen it. (except of course in Billy Wilder's "1,2,3")
The pace is so breathtaking, that amount of gags as high as the density of an atomic nucleus.
The performers play with childishly naive enthusiasm and esp. the two "ladies" Streisand and Kahn (as totally stiff-prudish Burnsy she is simply a blast!) are just brilliant.

The other ingredients:
1 hotel-room on fire in addition to the mentioned 4 identical bags, about 9 golf clubs, 2 certified window-jugglers and 1 pound of jewels, 0.07 Agents and 1 prehistoric collection of ancient rocks, about 8 tons of car scrap and all that topped with a pill-addicted judge just beyond of a nervous breakdown.
Well, that sounds silly, but quite interesting... doesn't it?

Esp. in the 70s many of imho the most absurd comedies were created. What's up doc is one of the best ones EVER!!!
(amongst + Monty Python's Holy Grail, Louis de Funes - Mr. Jo, and Inspector Clouseau)

Rating = 95% (a masterpiece!)
###################################################################################95%
December 29, 2015
There was a time when Peter Bogdanovich could apparently do no wrong. This is pretty spot on approximation of a 1930s screwball comedy blended with a distinctly early 70s vibe. I'm not much of a Barbara Streisand fan, but she's pretty wonderful here, as are Ryan O'Neal, Madeline Kahn and an impressive supporting cast.
September 16, 2015
"A screwball comedy. Remember them?"
We definitely should.
August 10, 2015
Hilariously farcical and let by the wonderful Streisand, "What's Up, Doc?" is a true joy of a film.
July 24, 2015
Absolutely hilarious!
June 16, 2015
Babs rocks Howard's collection and the screen. One of the most hilarious chase sequences ever seen on film! A must-see!
May 27, 2015
A truly funny re-working of the classic Bringing Up Baby. Streisand is excellent and even sexy as the fast talking girl determined to win the professor's heart and insight comedic havoc where ever she goes. But the real gem is Madeline Kahn who is so brilliant she steals the whole movie. The thing is -- the whole movie is fast-paced, smart and charming. Many cinephiles and film historians like to rant that nothing can ever best Howard Hawks' 1930's screwball classic. I disagree and highly recommend it.
April 22, 2015
that was i bit insane. the best bit is the guy flying out of the car and into the water.
April 19, 2015
I had forgotten just how friggen FUNNY this was! Thanks to Stephen Rutledge for reminding me!!!
½ April 19, 2015
A screwball comedy, romcom, bit of a satire - this movie is way ahead of its time. It's a crowd pleaser that views as something that could be produced today. This is a highly underrated classic considering how light on substance it is.
Page 1 of 44