MBTI Type: INTP

Much like Charlotte, Bob has no super clear dominant function—he’s an NTP, but which kind? His overall detachment, withdrawn nature, tendency to be a recluse, and lack of emotions suggests INTP. He is a jaded and somewhat cynical man, who shows his inferior Fe early on when we find out he forgot about his own child’s birthday. ITPs struggle with things like this if they deem them unimportant, and it annoys them to have others upset with them because of it. Left to his own devices, all he does is sit around the hotel, watch television, and lament that he cannot sleep—a sharp contrast to Charlotte, who has a strong sensory function that seeks out things to do and experiences to have. Bob is glad to go along with them, but rarely finds them for himself—she is always taking him places and it excites him to go there, but he seems to prefer conversation instead—a way to connect to her, be present within their strange relationship, and which allows him to be more philosophical. I suspect the reason he walks out on so many people is he finds them dull. He is a retired actor, so fallen from the public eye that he’s forced to do whiskey commercials in Japan to earn a living—and he’s depressed about it. But he also is able to find in Charlotte a kindred spirit—someone as equally confused as he is about what their purpose is in life and what comes next. Bob sends conflicting messages as well, to himself and to the audience—in his lack of interest in a provided sexual partner, but then a random one night stand with the lounge singer, as he experiences his “midlife crisis.” He shows better Fe in other scenes, when he tries to make friends with random people when hanging out with Charlotte, and is considerate of her needs, even though his answers to her questions are not particularly aware of her emotional state (he tells her it doesn’t get any easier—life or marriage).

Enneagram: 9w8 sp/so

Bob is a curious case, because I could see either 5or 9 for him, given how withdrawn he is, but the Bob of midway through the movie (after he’s started coming out of his depression) and the Bob at the start are two very different people. Early Bob is more 5ish, pulling away from people, avoiding them at all costs, and even walking out on his fans rather than suffer having to talk to them. But after he meets Charlotte, he takes on some of her energy and vitality and comes alive—which makes me think he’s a 9 who lives vicariously through the energies of other people. He also shows passive tendencies—going along with things even though they make him uncomfortable, and pretending like it’s all right (tolerating a strip tease and sighing as he forces a paid prostitute out of his room, after going along with “ripping her hose”), telling his wife to do whatever she wants in the house, ignoring her jab at him about staying in Japan if he prefers the food. He tells Charlotte that getting older means caring about things less, and not bothering to get upset, showing that he’s over time repressed his reactions to things. He is generally agreeable when on the job, even if he wishes he weren’t there, and becomes highly animated around people that interest him. I don’t see any super-ego, but I do see the sp9w8 tendency to reinforce boundaries and have no trouble walking away from people or situations that discomfort him. He wavers between passivity within his marriage (a point in which he relates to Charlotte) and asserting himself simply by walking out of a situation rather than going along with it.

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