Bowfinger (1999)


“White boys always get the Oscar. It’s a known fact. Did I ever get a nomination? No! You know why? Cause I hadn’t played any of them slave roles, and get my ass whipped. That’s how you get the nomination. A black dude who plays a slave that gets his ass whipped gets the nomination, a white guy who plays an idiot gets the Oscar. That’s what I need, I need to play a retarded slave, then I’ll get the Oscar. ” – Kit

Number of Times Seen – Twice (14 Jan 2010 and 4 Mar 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A movie producer tries to shoot a movie around a movie star without him knowing that he is in the film.

My Take on it – This is a movie that has such a great premise yet unfortunately it doesn’t manage to work as well as one might hope especially given its cast and director.

I have always loved Frank Oz’s bold choices of films to direct and this one has a great theme for a director to try and make work.

Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy are both great actors yet there is something that feels off with their chemistry here that hurts things too much.

As has become common for an Eddie Murphy comedy, he plays multiple roles here and although that idea has enhanced some of his other films, this one is actually hurt by it because these duplicate roles just don’t help make this story more enjoyable.

The film’s script gives some very clever plot points dealing with the idea of filming a movie around the schedule of an actor without him being aware of what is truly happening.

This helps make this film so much fun to watch especially for big movie fans like me.

They also do a wonderful job dealing with the idea of celebrity and how it affects one’s life.

In addition, I loved the way that they also deal with how the movie business is run from behind the scenes because it adds so much to our knowledge of how things work in that world.

Unfortunately tho, things aren’t presented well enough here and there are far too many aspects of this film that just don’t find a way to come together which is a shame given this fascinating premise.

Bottom Line – Really fascinating premise that just doesn’t work as well as one might hope. Martin and Murphy are both great actors, but something doesn’t gel with them here. Murphy’s choice to once again take on duplicate roles actually hurts things here because it fails to actually work. The film gives some very clever plot points on how to achieve the goal of filming a movie around an oblivious character and for those parts alone this film is worth watching especially for movie fans. The satire presented here about celebrity and the movie business is fun to watch even if there are far too many other parts of this movie that don’t manage to come together here.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The character of Daisy (played by Heather Graham) is a thinly veiled jab at Anne Heche. Like Daisy, Heche is from Ohio, and, also like Daisy, Heche was briefly romantically involved with a significantly older man, Steve Martin. Daisy’s last lines about being involved with “the most powerful lesbian in Hollywood” are a reference to Heche’s relationship at the time with Ellen DeGeneres. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “Bowfinger (1999)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1999 | MovieRob

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