What’s Up, Doc? (1972)

whats_up_doc

A kooky stranger in the shape of Barbra Streisand attaches herself to a stuffy music professor and through a series of coincidences they become involved in a plot to steal a case of priceless jewels and some secret government files.

What’s Up, Doc? is one of those kind of comedies that busts a gut to be quirky and likeable, but in its attempt to emulate the effortlessly amusing “screwball” comedies of the 1940’s it falls rather short. It actually manages to seem even more dated than the films it is clearly trying to copy – Bringing Up Baby being the most obvious influence – and the chemistry between a very lost looking Ryan O’Neill and Streisand is glaring in its absence; he just comes across as a joyless prig and her fascination with him is almost as bemusing as his seemingly instant change of heart where it comes to his romantic interest in her. The humour is in the usual formulaic farce of mistaken identities, pie-throwing and characters constantly running in and out of identical doors and it all seems rather tired and try-hard.

Occasionally mildly amusing, but Neil Simon did this kind of thing with a lot more wit.

5/10

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