Monday, February 15, 2010
Coming to America (1988)
Coming to America is one of the first movies featuring Eddie Murphy as multiple characters. Luckily, it is a much better film those based on the same premise, such as the atrocity that was Norbit. Coming to America was made after the high of Eddie Murphy’s Saturday Night Live career, before people tired of his humor.
The film describes Akeem’s (Murphy) search for love. Born the prince of Zamunda, his wife was selected and trained from birth. However, Akeem wants nothing more than to find a wife who will love him for who he is, not his royal blood. To appease him, King Jaffe Joffer gives him 40 days to “sow his royal oats”. Cue Akeem and his trusty sidekick, Semmi, to set off to America in search of a wife.
Akeem does end up finding love, but not before the encountering the normal obstacles and a plethora a comedic situations. Their Louis Vuitton luggage is stolen their first day in Queens (obviously the perfect place to find a suitable wife for a king), dozen golden toothbrushes and all. Akeem and Semmi find work at McDowells, a McDonald’s copycat, and receive their advice from a group of barbers (a testament to the makeup skills on set) who live below their apartment.
One of my favorite moments of the film was when Akeem gave a bag of money to seemingly random homeless people. These men turn out to be Mortimer and Randolph, the villains who were taken down in Murphy’s movie Trading Places. I thought this was a just subtle enough reference to be amusing, without the shove it down your throat self-awareness that some movies/actors utilize. All in all, I found Coming to America to be a hilarious film. Though there was a lot of bushman from Africa humor, which the more politically correct would frown upon, watching it was an enjoyable experience and I would recommend it.