“Steven Martin and Eddie Murphy together for the first time.”
Why lie? When I first heard this, my first thought was, “Great, two comedians who were big in the eighties are trying to make another comeback.” (Eddie Murphy already did but that’s beside the point). I was prepared for the worst, which might very well be why I wasn’t disappointed with this movie. In fact, I found it rather funny and amusing, if not a little sophomoric and anti-intellectual.
Meet Bowfinger (Martin), a really bad filmmaker who is, not surprisingly, down and out on his luck. That is until he reads a “terrific” script by an accountant, Afrim, at which time he becomes determined to make his dream movie. First he gets his ragtag group of regulars together: the hot, airhead male talent (Kohl Sudduth), the female actress who is under the delusion that she’s talented (Christine Baranski) and his delivery boy who steals a camera from the studio every night to film the movie (Scream’s Jamie Kennedy).
Joining his crew is Heather Graham (star of this summer’s blockbuster Austin Powers 2) as Daisy, a seemingly dumb blonde who comes to Hollywood. She is in reality a vixen who sleeps around to get ahead in the “biz.” Unaware to the rest of them, except for the cameraman, Bowfinger follows big movie star Kit Ramsey (Murphy) and has him unwillingly star in his picture. When Kit disappears they get Jiff (also Murphy), who looks remarkably like Kit, to fill in.
Well, I’m not about to argue for the deeper meanings of this movie. Sure it’s got its underlying story of how Hollywood has stopped centering around the story and more on caring who the star is, shown by the way Bowfinger must have a big star to get his dream movie made. Seeing as how his dream movie is called Chubby Rain, whose catch line is “Gotcha suckers,” this notion is undermined slightly. Ultimately there’s the inner struggle of one man, Bowfinger, who just wants to make his dream come true. Don’t we all?
Let’s not kid ourselves, what makes this movie good is the comedy. It’s fair to say I laughed a lot during this movie. The humor, which could easily have been sophomoric and cheap, actually stays quite clever. As we all know, stereotypes can be funny if done well or downright terrible if not. This movie, which relies heavily on stereotypical characters for humor, rides the fine line comfortably the whole way through, eliciting laughter and very few, if any, cringes.
Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy are also remarkably “on,” confidently hitting their marks. Granted, Eddie Murphy’s Jiff, the Kit Ramsey look-alike, is just plain annoying at times. He pulled it off as well as he could, though, and his portrayal of Kit Ramsey is hilarious. Some of his reactions to Bowfinger’s attempts to film him unknowingly are priceless. Martin is amazing as the title character, balancing a certain amount of angst, ridiculous optimism and cunning, all the while being very funny.
This movie was amazingly entertaining. Anyone who is in the mood for a good laugh from two of the funniest men to come out of the late 70’s-early 80’s era of comedy, do yourself a favor and check out “Bowfinger.” You won’t be disappointed.
Anyone who is in the mood for a good laugh from two of the funniest men to come out of the late’70s-early ‘80s era of comedy, do yourself a favor and check out Bowfinger.