Coming to America (1988)
IMDB Rating 7.6/10 116 min - Rated 15 Romance | Comedy
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James E. Jones Director: John Landis
The 'Innocent Abroad' is a pretty standard device for a comedy, but for me what makes this example stand out is both Eddie Murphy's dedication to his craft and the fine gallery of supporting players that are on call to back him up. Of course, these days we know by now that Eddie isn't fazed at all by taking on multiple roles, but this is the film where arguably that tactic has paid off the most, and this initial success came relatively early in his career. Today when he tries it, the makeup is left to do the work but the jokes rely heavily on bodily functions. The bonus in this film is that the humour in "Coming to America" is largely cleverer, and yet the makeup is still terrific! So if you're expecting a reputed disaster of "Norbit"-sized proportions, then you have nothing to fear. Joining in the fun are such familiar faces as John Amos in the role of the prospective father-in-law, and even a brief cameo role from a pre-fame Samuel L. Jackson that nestles alongside other well-known names and faces... For director Landis this represents something of a 'career plateau' too, as he has since struggled to be this contemporary or relevant again. A unique group produce big belly-laughs and a nice warm feeling, then. This is expertly constructed late-80's comedy.