The Boston Phoenix


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

Capsule Reviews

Other Films by Frank Oz
In & Out

Film Vault Suggested Links
The Great White Hype
Waking Ned Devine
Detroit Rock City

Related Merchandise
Search for related videos at
Search for more by Frank Oz at
Search for related books at
Search for related music at

Rate this Film
If you don't want to vote on a film yet, and would like to know how others voted, leave the rating selection as "Vote Here" and then click the Cast Vote button.