What About Bob?

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WHAT ABOUT BOB? —-had I gone on the preview I would have missed out. Like so many previews in recent years (and this was back in 1991–it’s gotten so much worse) the ultra-quick cutting of the trailer made this seem like a loud and obnoxious schtickfest. Instead, it’s a funny and nicely human comedy that makes the most of the talents of its stars, Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss.

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Murray plays multi-phobic Bob, who follows his adopted shrink when the latter goes on vacation with family: Bob pretty much spends the rest of the movie remaking the egotistical psychiatrist’s life.

Murray gets a full-bodied character, and subdues his familiar persona just enough to invest Bob with believable pathos and dignity. Well done, especially considering on set-tension, since Murray and Dreyfuss did not enjoy each other.  But it played effectively. Bad blood continued, with Dreyfuss suing Disney in 2015, over profits.

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Directed by Frank Oz, breezing along for 98 minutes, with input from Julie Hagerty, Charlie Corsmo,Kathryn Erbe, Tom Aldredge and Roger Bowen.  Critics approved, as did the amused public, who squared the $35,000,000 cost by handing over $64,000,000, coming in #19 for the year, then tacking another $29,000,000 when it hit the video market. Go, Bob.

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