Sunday, February 9, 2014

02/09: Coming To America

This is one of those comedy movies that keeps you wanting to watch it again and again. Eddie Murphy, during his prime, put out one of the greatest blockbusters of the late 80s (also one of the Top 5 box office hits of 1988). Eddie Murphy has been one of my all-time favorite comedians for the longest time, and this adds on to it. He co-stars with future talk show host Arsenio Hall as well as John Amos and Darth Vader, or James Earl Jones.

Its a simple comedy about love, but not a romantic comedy, if you will. Eddie Murphy plays Prince Akeem from a fictional African country, Zamunda, who rebels against an arranged marriage. Sure, he gets pampered to the fullest (including bathing!) at home. As he reaches certain age to meet and marry his future queen, he gets confused and questions everything as to why it became this way. Having never left Zamunda he sets out on a trek with his best friend Semmi (Hall) on a search for life outside Africa but more importantly, for a woman. Even better, a queen he himself can choose.

In a funny, sorta coincidental move, he chooses Queens, New York, and settles there temporarily. Soon the two take up work at a fast-food restaurant, McDowells, an obvious McDonald's ripoff, which is well-spoofed in the movie. He soon becomes infatuated with the McDowell's owner's daughter, Lisa, while she is going with a wealthy man whose father made his money from Jheri curl hair liquid. It becomes a challenge as Akeem tries to hide his royal lifestyle as he wants to come off as an ordinary guy. Semmi, on the other hand, can't adapt with the 'poor, peon' lifestyle but they do admire the American dream and environment.

It's a classic comedy with a happy ending. Of course, I'm not going to reveal anymore. What's unique besides the cast and comedic acting, is Murphy's first try as disguising himself as various characters, including barbershop men (along with Arsenio). This would later carry on in more of Murphy's movies. And, as expected, you may want to keep children away as you will hear a lot of profanity as well as offensive jokes...unless you're watching the television edited version.

My rating: 8 out of 10

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