Film: What About Bob?
The premise is simple here. Murray plays Bob Wiley, a troubled multi-phobic but harmless man who’s been referred to a new psychiatrist, played by Richard Dreyfuss. The doctor goes on holiday but Wiley needs his fix, so he finds out where Dreyfuss has gone with his family and rents a house next door. The doctor wants nothing to do with his patient on holiday but Wiley quickly endears himself to the locals and, more importantly, Dreyfuss’ family.
Murray plays this brilliantly, annoying Dreyfuss’ character without annoying the audience. He’s funny, which is key, but he also gives us glimpses of his underlying mental issues without the script having to stop from the story and explain what’s going on.
The films crescendos beautifully into its inevitable climax. It feels like a mess, then sneaks up on you and you realise that there was a point to every scene after all.
This kind of comedy is a thing of the past; it rests almost entirely on the actors’ talents to make the script work. Oz has faith in Murray and Dreyfuss and the result is an often subtle yet hilarious character driven comedy that can’t be reproduced. An underrated gem in Murray’s back catalogue.