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Monday, May 2, 2011

Bowfinger - 1999

Bowfinger is a film that I just happen to come across one day flipping through the channels on TV. I read the info, and seeing that its leads were Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy, plus a film about today's film making, I actually thought it sounded like a pretty good film. After watching it I was unfortunately very disappointed in the film, and was absolutely shocked to find that Bowfinger received mostly positive reviews. Maybe it was just me, but I had a hard time getting past the overly ridiculous story, even for a comedy.

In modern Hollywood, film producer Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) is suffering from a serious lack of talent, resulting in him living in a broken down house with a beat up van. But he reads over a screenplay that one of his friends wrote, and for whatever reason, he has a strong belief that it is worth something, and could bring him riches. But the film will not work unless one star, the biggest of his time, Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) plays in it. Though obviously Bobby has no luck in selling the script, so he decides to star Ramsey in the film without his permission, or the rest of the casts. And with a team worth less than his home, Bobby will try and make this amazing film.

Frank Oz is a director I have respect for, which is one of the reasons Bowfinger was such a disappointment. But the biggest problem with the film, in my opinion was Oz's direction. Bowfinger was just all over the place from the start. The characters were all messed up, and never worked, except for Murphy's. The scenes begin to get repetitive, as the audience goes from the team running and filming, back to the house, to running and filming, and back to the house. After the first time, nothing is funny anymore, and I just got entirely bored with the film in general. For me, this was both the flaw of the direction and the screenplay, which was a real shame considering the talent Bowfinger had going for it.

The script, like the direction, worked the first half of the film, but after awhile the laughs just quit coming from the film. I do not want to seem like I am completely trashing Bowfinger, because there were many parts of the film that I really enjoyed. I mean don't get me wrong a laughed more than I usually do in comedies, the only problem is I was only laughing about half of the time. The other half I was sitting bored thinking about how stupid the film was. Stupid can be funny, but in this case it gets really old, really fast. Well at least that is how I saw it.

The acting was probably my favorite part of the film. Steve Martin is a guy I have grown to like over the years, but his script in Bowfinger killed his performance. He might have been funny at times, but the lack of talent writing for him is what hurt him here. Eddie Murphy, however, was very good. The absolute highlight of the film. The going back and forth from regular Murphy and the other Murphy was really entertaining, and brought the most laughs of the entire film through that stage. The rest of the cast, unfortunately is not worth mentioning, they were not all bad, but there was definitely some bad.

Overall, Bowfinger must not be my type of film, as I seem to be one of the few who think this is as bad as it is. Martin and Murphy work together to bring a few laughs, but the direction and script make sure they end quickly. If you are looking for a fun movie to watch once, then I would suggest this. Otherwise no recommendation from me.

Rating: 5/10


  1. I would definitely concur with you on this one Matt, Bowfinger isn't my type of film either.

  2. It just wasn't that funny in the end, besides Murphy. Thanks so much for reading!

  3. I haven't seen it in so long, but I do remember thinking it to be pretty clever. I'm sure, however, with a rewatch, my opinion of it would probably change considerably.

  4. Haha well the critics seemed to like it a lot, so maybe it is just me. Thanks for reading!