What's Up, Doc?
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With Howard Hawks's Bringing Up Baby (1938) as his blueprint, Peter Bogdanovich resurrected and payed homage to 1930s screwball comedy in What's Up, Doc? (1972). When wacky co-ed Judy Maxwell (Barbra Streisand, in the Katharine Hepburn part) spies nebbishy musicologist Howard Bannister (Ryan O'Neal in bespectacled Cary Grant mode) in a San Francisco hotel lobby, she decides that Howard and his precious igneous rocks are right up her alley. Too bad Howard already has a fiancée, the propriety-fixated Eunice (Madeline Kahn in her film debut). Using all her arcane knowledge from brief… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The result is a comedy made by a man who has seen a lot of movies, knows all the mechanics, and has absolutely no sense of humor."
‑ Jay Cocks, TIME Magazine
"The strength of a movie like this, of course, is that you don't have to believe too much for too long, because there's something else happening."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"[VIDEO ESSAY] Barbara Streisand takes over the feminine human incarnation of Bugs Bunny's free-spirited cartoon character in Peter Bogdanovich's enthusiastic homage to the screwball comedy."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"No one is going to match Grant and Hepburn, but Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand give it the ol' college try in the criminally entertaining What's Up, Doc? [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Never less than entertaining and is sometimes side-splittingly hilarious."
‑ Steven D. Greydanus, Decent Films Guide
"This picture is a total smash."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Not the least of Bogdanovich's triumphs is his success in scaling down Miss Streisand's superstar personality to fit the dimensions of farce."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"[A] hilarious homage to the screwball comedies of the 1930s by Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges."
‑ Tom Hutchinson, Radio Times
"It's never quite as tight or fierce as the original screwballers, but is fizzy and loveable and always worth watching."
‑ Ian Nathan, Empire Magazine
"Enjoyable thanks to the fine use of San Francisco locations and an agreeably nutty Barbra Streisand."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A homage to Hollywood screwball comedy that by and large gets its pace and cartoon/slapstick timings right."
‑ , Time Out
"The busy script by Buck Henry, Robert Benton, and David Newman keeps things moving, but the spirit of pastiche keeps this romp from truly rivaling its sources."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"A lot of fun for the whole family."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"Bogdanovich has delivered a film with energy, wit, and a madcap pace that is well worth watching."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Hilarious live cartoon directed by Bogdanovich with sexy, silly turn by Streisand, and equally funny O'Neal and Kahn."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
More reviews for What's Up, Doc? on Rotten Tomatoes