In 1991's hit comedy "What About Bob?," Bill Murray created another hard-to-hate goofball as the anxious, afraid-of-everything Bob Wiley. Reading behind-the-scenes tales, it's hard to believe a movie this funny could come from that set.

Now available to stream on Amazon Prime and Hulu, "What About Bob?" opens with Wiley barely making it to see his new psychotherapist and best-selling author of "Baby Steps," Dr. Leo Marvin (a persnickety Richard Dreyfuss). Instead of proper help, Marvin gives a copy of his book to Wiley as a way of quickly resolving the problem the therapist heads out on a family vacation. 

Of course, Wiley needs more than a book.

Wiley manipulates and cons his way into Marvin's family vacation. As a teen, I remembered only Murray's routine, making quotable toss-off lines like, "I'm a sailor! Ahoy!" and "Baby steps to the elevator." Rewatching it, I found myself thinking, "This got dark." 

"What About Bob?" works because Murray cared, probably too much. After the critical disappointment of "Ghostbusters II" and his co-directed box-office flop "Quick Change," Murray flew headfirst into the role of Bob Wiley. In a 1991 interview, Murray boasted about improvising new ways to annoy his co-star Dreyfuss: "Anything I could think of to annoy someone in a scene, particularly if it was Dreyfuss, I went with it."

Director Frank Oz and Dreyfuss later confirmed that filming "What About Bob?" was a headache, to say the least. In numerous interviews, Dreyfuss recalled how Murray would yell at the "Jaws" star, "Everyone hates you! You are tolerated!" After one disagreement, producer Laura Ziskin told reporters Murray "playfully" tossed her in a lake.

Such antics were part of the Murray experience. Then, Murray didn't care about anything but the comedy, so it seems, and the results were usually classics.

Now, Murray has settled into his "cool" aura, appearing in movies directed by Jim Jarmusch, Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson. As difficult as he was, these days, I wish he cared more.


On Amazon Prime: "A Simple Plan," "Brüno," "Devil in a Blue Dress," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "How to Train Your Dragon," "Inception," "Milk," "Minority Report," "Monster's Ball," "Moonrise Kingdom," "My Cousin Vinny," "That Thing You Do!," "Unhinged," "Waiting to Exhale," available now; "Spontaneous," available April 12; "Tom Clancy's Without Remorse," available April 30.

On Disney+: "The Big Year," "Night at the Museum," available now; "The Kid Who Would Be King," "Rio," available April 22.

On HBO Max: "Black Dynamite," "The Bodyguard," "Boogie Nights," "Caddyshack," "The Color Purple," "Early Man," "The Mask of Zorro," "Primal Fear," "Risky Business," "Sneakers," "Space Jam," "Stuart Little," "Wanderlust," available now; "The New Mutants," available April 10; "Mortal Kombat (2021)," available April 16.

On Hulu: "28 Days Later," "A Low Down Dirty Shame," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Die Hard," "Die Hard with a Vengeance," "Dude, Where's My Car?," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Napoleon Dynamite," "The Polar Express," "WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn," available now; "Spontaneous," available April 12; "Wild Mountain Thyme," available April 25.

On Netflix: "Concrete Cowboy," "Insidious," "Legally Blonde," "Madame Claude," available now; "Thunder Force," available April 9; "The Master," available April 15; "Crimson Peak," "Rush," "Synchronic," "The Zookeeper's Wife," available April 16; "Stowaway," available April 22; "Things Heard and Seen," available April 28.