Bowfinger Movie Review
Cast & Crew
Director : Frank Oz
Producer : Brian Grazer
Screenwriter : Steve Martin
The problem isn't the premise: Never-has-been, aging filmmaker Bobby Bowfinger (Martin) is so desperate to make a movie, he decides to film impromptu scenes with major, but paranoid, star Kit Ramsey (Murphy, basically playing himself). Wackiness ensues when the scenes (a sci-fi action film) get crazier and crazier. Sounds like a good plot to me.
It's not the stars. The idea of Martin and Murphy together has had me salivating for this film all summer. Supporting stars like Graham, Stamp (as a Scientology-esque guru), and Baranski all hold up their parts of the picture well, and Murphy's second role as a nerdy Ramsey lookalike is the best part of the movie.
It's not the pacing. Bowfinger jumps along from scene to scene and never gets boring. And on technical merits, the film is a success.
The problem, I think, lies in the comedy. Try as it might, Bowfinger just never manages to be hysterically funny. A few bright spots aside, Bowfinger's jokes almost universally fall flat, with missed comic opportunities buzzing by at every turn. I really wanted to love this picture, but compared to Powers or American Pie, this isn't a brilliant flick.
I think the fault lies with director Frank Oz (best known as the voice of Yoda), none of whose credits (including In & Out have impressed me very much. Oz obviously wanted to craft an adult comedy here, but ended up making a PG-13 film that tries to appeal to all tastes. It's no surprise that it doesn't really click with adults or kids.
On a personal note, Eddie Murphy Productions was this close to buying a script I wrote last year. Who was my contact at the company? Eddie Murphy's brother. Think about that... after you see the movie.
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