Picks and Pans Review: What About Bob?
Those who will like this comedy about psychotherapy patient Murray and his gum-on-the-shoe relationship with supershrink Dreyfuss:
(1) Anyone who'd like to see the shrink business deflated by such pinpricks as Dreyfuss's failure to communicate with his own children.
(2) Those who enjoy poetry: "Roses are red/ Violets are blue/ I'm a schizophrenic/ And so am I."
(3) Everyone else, except Neil Diamond fans. Murray, explaining why his marriage broke up, says, "There are two types of people in the world: those who like Neil Diamond and those who don't. My ex-wife loves him."
Written by Tom (Dead Poets Society) Schulman and directed by Frank (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) Oz, the film pits crazy vs. straight in trite fashion. Murray is so dependent he follows his therapist from New York City to a New Hampshire vacation home, but his irresponsible craziness is portrayed as truly attuned to life. Yet this familiar scenario is funny without anyone getting pompous about how cool the) are for seeing life's hypocrisies.
There's nice backup from Julie Hagerty, as Dreyfuss's wife, and Charlie Korsmo and Kathryn Erbe as his kids. Murray is in good hangdog hipster form; Dreyfuss is as twitchy as Herbert Lom in a Pink Panther. And Schulman deserves a loopiest line award for having Murray, explaining how he worships his therapist, say, "He's so far above us—we're like ropes on the Goodyear blimp." (PG)