For all you that own a Blu-ray player ( I have yet to to join the bandwagon…I know, its shameful.) then the recently released What’s Up, Doc? should be at the top of your list. The 1972 Peter Bogdanovich homage to screwball comedies is my favorite Barbra Streisand film next to Funny Girl and is easily one of Ryan O’Neal’s must likable performances.
I hold this movie in a special place. After a rather difficult relocation, I found myself in an empty apartment with no radio, working TV cable – nothing to satisfy a really obsessive need for noise…or maybe it was just the need to hear voices…don’t know which. Anyway, I unpacked the rabbit ears to my portable TV and luckily it picked up the local PBS channel that was showing What’s Up, Doc? It was the perfect pick-me-up.
The plot, expertly crafted by Buck Henry, David Newton and Robert Benton, includes mayhem and romance. The story is a true lesson in conflict, pace and cause and effect. It’s when funny was just plain funny and didn’t rely on slapstick. Oh…the good ‘ol days. But mostly it’s the hilarious performance of Madeline Kahn combined with directorial sensibilities of older movies such as Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday and The Philadelphia Story that make this romp in San Francisco totally enjoyable. A truly entertaining movie, it’s hard to believe that nothing gets blown up, no one gets shot and there’s not an obligatory boob shot to be found. Amazing, huh?