What’s Up, Doc? (1971)

What's_Up_Doc_posterA nod to the 1930s screwball comedies, this hilarious film is directed by Peter Bogdanovich and stars Ryan O’Neil and Barbra Streisand. It opens with the prologue, “Once upon a time there was a plaid overnight case,” however very soon it becomes obvious that there are four of these cases! 

One belongs to the bookish Ryan O’Neil who is going to a musicologist convention with his annoying fiancée Eunice, the other to the free spirited Judy, one has top secret information, and the last is full of jewels. This dramatic irony is set up early on for the audience and things really get chaotic when Judy tries to pick up Howard. She masquerades as his fiancée and creates a good impression with a Mr. Larabee who is in charge of giving out the grant. However, later, Judy succeeds in completely destroying Howard’s room while causing more problems for Howard with Eunice in the process.  

The next day Howard is invited to a party at the home of Mr. Larabee and he is instructed to bring his charming “fiancée.” That’s where the mayhem hits its peak. All four bags end up together. There are gangsters, government agents, guests, servants, and Judy and Howard all a part of the chaotic ruckus. The unlikely couple finds themselves on the run through the hilly streets of San Fran where an epically frenzied car chase takes place. Put together a pane of glass, some bumpy steps, three cars, a parade, and a large body of water to add up to some hilarious moments. The bedlam carries over into the local courthouse where everything is eventually figured out. Everything is back to equilibrium and Howard flies off into the sunset with his new love and an in flight Bugs Bunny short.

4/5 Stars

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