Bowfinger

The Boston Phoenix

DIRECTED BY: Frank Oz

REVIEWED: 08-16-99

In the press kit for Frank Oz's Bowfinger, Eddie Murphy's bio reads: "At times, Eddie Murphy can be a very funny man." This isn't one of those times. The pairing of Murphy with fellow comedic Goliath Steve Martin (who wrote the screenplay) should elicit gales of laughter, but instead it seems to have neutralized their ability to be witty or outrageous, forcing them to aim for the lowbrow chuckles. The result: laughter comes only in puffs.

Martin is Bobby Bowfinger, a loser director who tricks a big-time action hero into starring in his last-chance flick, Chubby Rain. Said hero is Kit Ramsey (Murphy), a paranoid egomaniac who's obsessed with flashing the Laker Girls. Kit's scenes are shot without his knowledge, and all the close-ups star Jiff, Kit's painfully dorky look-alike brother (also Murphy). Some parts are actually funny, like Jiff's audition and the final kung fu scene, both trailer staples. The rest of the film is a great idea foiled by jokes that fall flat and just lie there. In one of the few scenes worth recalling, Kit lambastes his agent for offering him a script that asks the audience to think too much: "We're trying to make a movie here. Not a film!" Obviously.

--Jumana Farouky

Full Length Reviews
Bowfinger
Bowfinger
Bowfinger
Bowfinger

Capsule Reviews
Bowfinger

Other Films by Frank Oz
In & Out

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