Ep 16: What’s Up, Doc

Get the podcast: Listen here at PopD | Go to iTunes

Story Analysis & Ratings:

Lucy says: # Pops ~ Lucy’s rating breakdown:Structure: 4, Comedy: 5, Romance: 4

Jenny says: # Pops ~ Jenny’s rating breakdown: Structure: 4, Comedy: 5, Romance: 4

Blog Poll Rating: TBD

Movie Info:

Release Date: March 10, 1972 Director: Peter Bogdanovich Writers: Buck Henry, David Newman. More info at IMDb.

15 thoughts on “Ep 16: What’s Up, Doc

  1. I had this one in my queue for Netflix but I had it as my number 2 choice. I’d put Date Night as number 1 because it had a “very long wait” so I figured I’d get What’s Up Doc? instead. I got Date Night.

    So, since What’s Up Doc? wasn’t high on my personal list of movies to watch in my lifetime (or, if I’m going to be honest – it wasn’t on my list at all), I decided to skip this one and deleted it from my queue. Then I come here to see that everyone loved it.

    In any event, I’m glad everyone enjoyed it. Who knows, maybe I’ll break down and check it out down the road.

  2. For me, the movie works as a whole, but succeeds despite the farce rather than because of it. It was genuinely funny, the romantic plot was surprisingly strong and sweet, and the pace barely lets up for a moment. I would have preferred more banter and character moments in place of the bag-switching and slapstick, but I laughed more in the course of this film than in many that I’ve seen lately — and thanks to Lucy, I’ve watched some really good films lately. 😉

    Great discussion, and I look forward to reading the comments!

  3. I enjoyed this movie a great deal but…(ducks head) I’m not sure I buy the romance. They did a better job than Bringing Up Baby, but then so do most Hallmark commercials. I get what he saw in her–she was gorgeous and smart and FUN. But what did she see in him? R O’N is cute but he had most of the same problems as Cary Grant in BUB. Except Cary Grant is CARY GRANT!! Was it just that Howard recognized she was an irresistible force and so gave in to it rather than fight it? That’s a little limp.
    I haven’t listened to the podcast, so perhaps all of my reservations were already addressed. If so, my apologies. Barbra was luminous in this, wasn’t she?

  4. I agree, SarahB. The guy was so vacant at the start I swear I saw the VACANCY sign between his eyes whenever he was on screen.

    Yes, Howard totally gave in. The woman’s gonna stalk his ass to college until she gets kicked out. He can’t escape her.

  5. Laura – so you know, not everyone liked it. I didn’t like it much at all. I was waiting for it to end. I’m not a big fan of Barbara Streisand and that may have affected my opinion but really, I think I just don’t like farce. I liked Bringing Up Baby better except the romance there, but I don’t really care if I ever watch it again either.

    I don’t enjoy the stupidity that is required to make the farce work. I’d look in the bag I just stolen to see if it contained what I wanted. Judy was mean. Howard was an idiot. The chase scene was long and a plate glass window – big eye roll as you know it will end up broken. The VW Bug would’ve sunk into the water too. The judge’s ailments rambled. The only part that I liked was that Eunice got the rich guy. Generally, for me the movie was annoying.

    In the podcast you say Judy’s primary motivation was food. Why couldn’t she simply by herself a meal?

    I know Jenny and Lani loved it and my DH really enjoyed it too, so it’s obviously just me. I guess I need to try it again with as much wine as Lani had or more.

  6. @Kelly S,

    “The VW Bug would’ve sunk into the water too.”

    This was another one of those sight gags that makes an allusion to a contemporary thing. When I watched this with my mom she said there was a famous VW commercial at that time where the car doesn’t sink. So this is like “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” and the judge, it’s a gag for people who have seen that commercial.

  7. The VW Bug would absolutely not have sunk, but that was really well known at the time so as Verona said, that’s another time specific gag.
    Trust me, my college boyfriend had one at the time. Those were great little cars and they really were water tight. Plus the engine was so simple you could fix them yourself.
    Of course it was like riding in a sardine tin, but great little car.

  8. Re: viewing House Calls on October 1. I just checked Netflix and it looks like it’s not available. Any reason we can’t substitute Annie Hall? It got thrown off the list early on (no HEA) but I’d love to hear/read the discussion on it. Just a thought…

  9. Hah, on the podcast they said the VW sank. It sure looked like it sank on the landing.

    I keep pondering other movies to watch for this podcast after the historical context ones are done. I just watched Timer and that’s an interesting movie for so many reasons….

  10. @KellyS – the floating VW is a good Trivial Pursuit question, too – that is if anyone actually plays that game anymore:)

    I’ll agree that the chase scene is really long. That was a product of the times, I think.

    @SarahB – re: Annie Hall – that’s defnitely one I’d have to take a pass on. It makes my eyes bleed and there’s not enough wine in my zip code to make that a romantic comedy, IMO.

    @Jennifer – love the ‘vacancy’ sign on Howard! that’s great. You know he’ll have tenure in a matter of mintues though:)

    So, I finally got a chance to watch this one and I must admit that I liked it better than I thought I would. I just had to remind myself it was a farce and keep the willing suspension of disbelief front and center. It helped that everything was so utterly predictable. But I did laugh and their was romance even it was all about how attracted they were to each other. I have no allusions that his will be a long term HEA for the two of them but they’ll have a good time until Judy gets kicked out of school.

    I will

  11. I said the VW would float on the podcast. Lani said it sank? I don’t remember that. I believe in VW bugs.

    House Calls: I told Lani and we’ll get back to you.

    Annie Hall: No happy ending. We’re sticklers for an upbeat ending. It’s not a tragedy, but there’s no HEA.

  12. @Jennifer, RE: Timer
    I watched that too, but I don’t think the ending really qualifies as “happy,” maybe “hopeful”. But personally I kind of wanted her to stick with the younger guy.

    Re: The House Calls issue. Could you guys just make that a Bonus one and then add another movie in at the end for the 00s? I just remember what a difficult time there was on Argh trying to find a movie to replace New Leaf…At least if you put the new movie in at the end of the list there would be time to look around and debate.

    Just a thought…

  13. Please, please, NOT Annie Hall. Please.

    Timer was good, but I agree, unsurprisingly, with Verona. It isn’t a settled HEA, its a hopeful maybe-in-the-future one, and personally, I want her to be with the young guy, timers be damned, not her little sister’s sorta kinda BF.

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