JUNE 12, 2013
In the 1991 comedy, What About Bob? Bill Murray portrays a peculiar and anxious man that is isolated by his multiple phobias and excessive dependence on therapists. Bob Wiley’s (Bill Murray’s character) fears range from germs to fear of having a heart attack or his bladder explode spontaneously. He will pretend to have Tourette syndrome, shouting strange but inappropriate and vulgar combinations of words just to assure himself he does not have it. Bob is also socially anxious and desperate for personal connections other than that with his beloved goldfish Gil. The storyline centers around Bob’s unusual relationship with Dr. Leo Marvin, an egotistic psychologist and newly published author, that had recently agreed to take Wiley on as a new patient from a fellow therapist who, unknowingly to Marvin, needed to be free of the demanding responsibility for Bob. With his excessive range of issues and quirks and only after one brief meeting before the doctor headed off for a month-long vacation, Bob becomes attached to Dr. Marvin and his “Baby Steps” philosophy. Despite Leo making it clear he would be unavailable until he returned after Labor Day and normative social standards, Bob finds a way to contact the doctor for unwarranted phone-calls and eventually manipulates his way to the doorstep of Dr. Marvin’s vacation home. Through the assistance of the psychologist’s family and bitter local enemies and against all of Leo’s wishes and demands, Bob stays with his therapist, eager for his attention and counseling. As the films continues, Dr. Marvin becomes increasing perturbed by Bob’s presence despite everyone else’s increasing affection for him and finally becomes convinced he must murder Bob to rid him from his life and involvement with his family. After a failed attempt to murder and then to institutionalize Bob, an utterly disturbed Dr. Marvin seeks mental health refuge himself from the madness his own patient...
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