Many years after Eddie Murphy was a mainstay during what would end up to be the golden years of SNL (who could fathom the show's devastating plummet?), he has become the king of schlock. The worst it got was 2002's Showtime, where he and fellow charlatan Robert De Niro hooked up to attempt to rip off Lethal Weapon's buddy-cop antics. Looking back at The Nutty Professor, we really should have seen the mustering of lazy, worthless filmmaking a long time ago.
Murphy went through hours and hours of make-up and fat suits to get into the role of Sherman Klump, the naive, good-hearted science professor who weighs somewhere in the vicinity of 350 to 400 pounds. He's content enough in this state, until he meets Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett Smith), a new science professor who is a long-time admirer of his work. Sherman's family (entirely played by Murphy) tells him he should be happy with his weight, but when a crowd-insulting comic (overplayed by Dave Chapelle) rips him to shreds in front of Carla, Sherman's on a mission. After taking a potion, Buddy Love is created: a skinnier, Atkins-fueled narcissist (also played by Murphy) who can charm anyone, including Dean Richmond (ever-funny Larry Miller), his boss, and Harlan Hartley (James Coburn), a benefactor who could save Klump's job and the college. Of course, it becomes a fight between Sherman (love) and Buddy (business) that brings the film to its inevitable conclusion.
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