“What’s Up Doc?” Directed by Peter Bogdanovich. Starring Barbara Streisand, Ryan O’Neal. 93 mins. Distributed by Columbia-Warner
Have you ever seen a funny film and then attempted to repeat it to your friends. You stand there explaining every funny moment, working yourself to a frazzle doing it, and all the time having a ball reliving those moments. Then you glance at your friend’s face, sitting there with a bored expression, and you realise you’re “dying a death”. Well each of us has surely done this in the past, and therefore I’m not going to waste time repeating each and every gag that occurs in this very funny film. Suffice to say that it involves four identical travelling bags and the chase that ensues involving a large cast of mostly new faces to the screen.
First and foremost one must mention Peter Bogdanovich the director of that telling saga of mid-West America ‘The last picture show’. This is about as far removed from that film as can be. Its almost as if he intentionally proves he can handle a comedy as well as he handled the latter drama.
The picture stars the delightful, delectable (apply your own adjective according to your admiration) Barbara Streisand again playing a crazy kook of a girl which she managed to perfection previously in ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’. She’s lumbered with Ryan O’Neal for a co-star and as rumour has it that he left his wife for Miss Streisand in real life I suppose we must expect to see him again in other films whilst the romance is on. He might be dishy to look at but personality he hasn’t.
But SHE has . … and how. Wearing some pretty ghastly outfits she manages once again to confuse the brain in that she looks one moment a raving beauty, and the next moment downright ugly.
These days she is known as ‘The Queen’s delight’ and indeed there are precious few personalities around in films to rival her. With the passing of Judy Garland, the rare screen appearances of Bette Davis, and mere memories of Mae West in her hey day, we are ever hopeful that other new personalities might emerge in the coming years.
Apart from her brilliant comedy playing she warbles Porter’s “You’re the tops” over the credit titles, and later on a few bars of “As time goes by”. Let us hope that she can be persuaded to make more screen appearances soon whilst we are waiting for future star personalities to arrive.