Archives for posts with tag: Eddie Murphy

If you had to, off the top of your head, name 10 Eddie Murphy movies, “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” (2002) probably wouldn’t make the list. I get that. But while it’s no “Coming to America,” it’s not terrible (did I just write that sentence?). Pluto is a cleaned-up con man who runs a lunar nightclub in 2090 or so. A bigger criminal puts the muscle on him, and Rat Pack-style, shoot-some-guns, help-some-pals, get-the-girl, robot-assisted, autonomous-vehicle, box-office-bomb hijinks ensue. The film exudes sprezzatura (look it up) and Murphy is a 21st century Dean Martin. Fly me to the moon indeed.

“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.


“Boomerang” (1992) is a formula romantic comedy made at the height of Eddie Murphy’s marketability. It’s what big stars do: they make a formula romantic comedy. This one doesn’t even have a plot gimmick. It’s straight-up Eddie Murphy. He even works portions of his standup act into the dialogue. It follows the “guy falls for glamorous chick when he really belongs with normal chick and almost realizes it too late” formula. There’s also Halle Berry, before she became a big star. Metaphorically, Martin Lawrence plays Murphy’s id and David Alan Grier plays his super-ego. Murphy, or course, is the ego.