“Coming to America” (1988) might be Eddie Murphy’s most underrated movie. The story is basic romantic comedy boilerplate (Spoiler: He pretends he’s something he’s not to impress girl, she becomes interested, he tells truth, she gets pissed, hijinks ensue, kiss and make up, the end.). The differentiators in rom-coms are the stars and their characters. You have to like the first and believe the second. Murphy and Arsenio Hall (an African prince and his servant) were at the height of their likability and they create memorable characters. Accents, mannerisms and naivete. The forgettable female lead just had to show up.

 

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