Essay Sample on Cultural Influences in "What About Bob" Movie

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  2
Wordcount:  481 Words
Date:  2022-11-14


The film "What About Bob?" revolves around Dr. Leo Marvin and his patient, Bob Wiley. Marvin is a successful psychotherapist who operates in New York City. Bob is a divorced adult with a multi-phobic personality. While Marvin considers Bob an annoying person, Bob gets attached to him due to his mental health issues ("What About Bob," 1991). Bob follows his doctor and family to New Hampshire lakeside cottage for a vacation. This paper discusses cultural influences as portrayed in the film "What About Bob?"

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The film's depiction of the character is normalized. The behavior exhibited by the actor made it challenging to distinguish between normal and abnormal behavior. Marvin and Bob do not get along well with each other. The therapist does not share similar enthusiasm about a friendship with Bob. For instance, while they always clash, Bob relates splendidly with Fay, Anna, and Siggy ("What About Bob," 1991). Thus, it is difficult to highlight undesired behavior.

Cultural values limit the identification of symptoms of mental disorders. These values are unconscious expectations of other people's behavior (Gorman & Cross, 2011). Thus, human interaction serves as a mirror for identifying psychological distress. The use of comedy as a communication style in the film makes it difficult to deduce the emotional wellbeing of Bob ("Cultural Influences," n.d.). For instance, he used an amusing response to avoid expressing his emotions when asked about his divorce. His comical reaction is ... "there are two types of people in this world: those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't. My ex-wife loves him ("What About Bob," 1991)."

Cultural influences impact human life and health. An aspect such as one's perception of illness and death can make it challenging to observe signs of mental disorder (Gorman & Cross, 2011). For example, Bob alters poem while speaking to workers at the psychiatric clinic. He says ... "It reminds me of my favorite poem, which is, "Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic and so am I ("What About Bob," 1991)." While addressing the doctor, he utters several profanities. Then, referring to Tourette's syndrome, he says "If I fake it, then I don't have it" ("What About Bob," 1991). Thus, the influence of his skewed perception about illness serves as a distraction away from his mental condition.


In conclusion, culture significantly impacts mental health. A community's beliefs serve as a guide to human interactions in society. Societal expectations make people behave in a specific manner. For instance, Bob relies on humor to conceal his mental health issues. Thus, it is difficult to identify signs of psychological distress.


Cultural Influences. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Gorman, D., & Cross, W. (2011). Cultural issues in mental health. Retrieved from

What About Bob. (1991). IMDB. Retrieved from

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Essay Sample on Cultural Influences in "What About Bob" Movie. (2022, Nov 14). Retrieved from

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