Thursday, August 5, 2010
#44 - What About Bob - 1991
The 2nd movie I chose to watch this week was What About Bob. This one is a family classic for me as I have seen it on numerous occasions. I remember watching this growing up and its crazy to think this is almost 20 years old now (next year). A lot of good memories with this film and a lot of very very funny scenes. Below is my detailed review.
What About Bob stars Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Julie Hagerty, and Kathryn Erbe. On a funny side note Patrick Stewart and Woody Allen both were thought to play the role of Dr. Leo Marvin but it ended up going to Dreyfuss. I cant see Stewart or Allen having been any better had they gotten the role. I never heard of another suggestion for the role of Bob but there is no way it could have been anyone but Murray, he was perfect for this role and I personally think "Bob" is easily one of the characters he will most be remembered for in his acting career. I have seen some episodes of Law & Order and I always knew the detective on that show looked familiar and now I know why. She was none other than Kathryn Erbe who played Dr. Marvin's daughter, Anna.
I'm not even going to bother spending that much time summarizing the plot because I think everyone knows the story of this movie but just in case they don't here goes. This is my extremely short and straight to the point version and go. Famous psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin) is about to go on vacation but is referred a neurotic patient with a multitude of problems and has one session with him. While on vacation that patient (Bob) freaks out, lies, and then finds out the location of where Dr. Marvin is vacationing. He travels there and basically the rest is history. Pure hilarity and comedic brilliance follows as Bob and Dr. Marvin and his family endure on one heck of a summer vacation.
There were a lot of great things about this film. The acting, the story, and of course fitting in with this week's theme the setting of the beautiful outdoors!! Lets start with the acting. I think everyone did a great job but it was hard to notice anyone besides Bob (Murray) because he was that brilliant. He played this role perfectly and his neurotic, obsessive, clingy tendencies were all on display and add that to his pure comedic talent he has been given it was a viewer's goldmine! Watching Bob "baby step" his way through this film was a treat. From the first "baby step" scene to the "I'm sailing" scene where he was literally tied to boat he was hilarious. I said before that nobody else could have conquered this role like he did and I believe that but after watching my 3rd movie last night (see next blog) Robin Williams would have made one hell of a Bob but I could see him as maybe Bob's brother or cousin if they ever did a sequel, can you imagine. I just thought of the title. What About Bob and Bart: Return to Lake Winnipesauke. haha. Love it!!
The story itself of this film was pretty unique but it was evident that it needed a great actor to fulfill the role of Bob to be successful and since that had been resolved this film was free to be a comedy classic. The family took to Bob pretty quickly in this film which would be a little abnormal I'm sure in real life but Dr. Marvin's wife Fay and his kids were so friendly and carefree it didn't seem to out of place for this picture. One thing I loved were the diner owners who lost their dream house to Dr. Marvin. The wife who say's "son of a bitch" all the time was too funny. It painted a perfect picture of a disgruntled elderly couple from a small town.
The house and setting where this film's outdoor scenes take place were filmed in Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. They are supposed to be in Lake Winnipesauke but like most movies they are not where they usually say they are, just like the Star Wars movies, haha. The setting is beautiful and I actually lived in VA for a short time so I know how beautiful that state is but I'm not sure whether or not this is on the north or south end of the state but either way it was very scenic which was a key element to this film. When you have scenes that include sailing, a child learning to dive off the dock, and a grocery shopping stop at a small local shop the outdoor settings are important for a film like that. You want to make sure that the destination that is being portrayed is authentic and realistic and in this film I believe it was and very beautiful as well.
There were numerous funny scenes throughout this film but let me highlight some favorites. Bob screaming after "baby stepping" into the elevator. Bob first seeing Dr. Marvin and "the fam" after arriving in the town of Lake Winnipesauke. Bob sailing, nuff said! Bob asking "am I going to die" after being pushed into the lake by Dr. Marvin. The entire turrets outburst scene with Bob and Dr. Marvin's son, Sigmund during Bob's sleepover. Bob's appearance on Good Morning America (man it was weird to see Joan London on there!!). Bob being at the door talking to the screen after Dr. Marvin slams the door in his face and says, "Bob's not gone, he's never gone"! There are some of the more memorable ones for me but there were even more to go around.
This film had a lot of laugh out loud scenes for me and was very comical almost the entire way through. Most of all that is attributed to Bill Murray's stunning performance in this film. Without his incredible ability to make you believe he was actually neurotic and crazy this film wouldn't have been half as good. Bob was a very unique character and Murray transformed himself into him with incredible perfection. This is what made this film so great and will be one that I always love. Since I hadn't seen it in a long time it was nice to see it again and be reminded of how funny this film was and it also brought back memories to when I was younger and in jr. high school because that is when I first saw it, way back then. Great movie and great performance by Murray! This one obviously gets an A!