"What About Bob?" Survey of Abnormal Psychology film analysis

Essay by dmbman027University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2007

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This paper is written as a requirement for PSYC 410. The assignment is to view a film on the subject and write summary on how it portrays mental disorders and human abnormality.

In this film Dr Leo Marvin is a successful psychiatrist who has just had his first book published. Good Morning America decides to film a live interview of Dr. Marvin. They choose the setting of his vacation home in New Hampshire during his Labor Day retreat with his family. Shortly before Dr. Marvin heads off for the holiday he receives a phone call from another Doctor, who is visibly rustled, that requests that he takes on one of his patients. Leo agrees to take on a patient from this other doctor. Meeting with the patient , Bob Wiley, begins an odd relationship. When we are introduced to Bob we instantly see him take imposing control of the interview and when he speaks we hear how well rehearsed he is as a patient.

Leo quickly evaluates him as being multi-phobic with separation anxiety and family dependence issues. He hands Bob a copy of his book, Baby Steps and ushers him out. However he has no idea how needy Bob is and it isn't long before Bob is calling Dr Marvin's phone service trying, by any means necessary, to get in touch with him. When this fails Bob pretends to be a detective investigating his own suicide to obtain the Marvin's' address. Bob shows up in New Hampshire unannounced and quickly finds his Doctor. When the rest of his family take to Bob, Leo uncomfortably finds he is stuck with Bob, while the TV interview gets closer by the day.

"The simplest way to put it; I have problems." This is Bob's straight forward explanation his problems. This film...