Anthony's Film Review

Bowfinger (1999)

A goofy comedy that pokes fun of making it in the film business...

No, Bowfinger is not a spoof of the James Bond movie Goldfinger, but it is a funny comedy and a clever satire. Steve Martin plays the title character of Bobby Bowfinger, a film director who is so poor that he works out of his own house with a crappy sign in front. Like any struggling filmmaker, there is the desire to make one cinematic hit that would propel him out of poverty and into the spotlight. He dreams that one day, a FedEx delivery truck would stop by his house to deliver him a letter offering bigger film projects. With barely any money in his savings and no connections in the film industry, he has only one shot for success.

The movie script for his new film is for a science-fiction movie called Chubby Rain, where aliens come to Earth in the form of raindrops. But he also needs a cast and crew. First, an aspiring actress named Daisy, played by Heather Graham, finds her way to Bowfinger's business. For the crew, he resorts to a money-saving tactic: luring illegal Mexican immigrants into his van and giving them work with the cameras and other equipment. There's one thing left: the star of the film. He decides on having actor Kit Ramsey, played by Eddie Murphy, in the lead role. However, Kit would not do the movie.

Bowfinger has two choices. He could either negotiate with Kit or resort to another money-saving tactic: film the movie with Kit without the actor himself knowing. Doing that is tricky, but it can be done if the timing is right. For instance, if you want to film a scene where a woman is chasing Kit Ramsey's limousine with a briefcase in hand, you can have Daisy wait in the bushes with the briefcase, then wait until Kit is leaving his house in a limo before she chases after it. Then put it all on film. It's this kind of humorous and clever planning that gets any scene with Kit and, eventually, a full-length feature starring Kit.

This is one of those movies where Eddie Murphy plays multiple characters. He also plays Jiff, a shy and quiet nerd who auditions to play Kit's stunt double. This is a guy who would be an identical impersonator of Kit if it weren't for the thick glasses and the braces over his teeth, but in Bowfinger's mind, this guy is perfect. In a very funny scene, Bowfinger makes Jiff run across a busy freeway without getting hit by any vehicles. Besides Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy is one of the main reasons I like this film. Whether he is playing the neurotic Hollywood hunk or the humble nerd, he makes us laugh.

The rest of the film (Bowfinger) is about filming the rest of a film (Chubby Rain). The plot continues with more funny scenes, and the funniest part of all is in the very last scene, so it ends nicely with a bang. Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy star together for the first time in this movie and they are quite a comedic pair. I haven't seen this pair on screen since this movie. It's something I'd love to see again. If there is one film that satirizes the film business in a smart way, Bowfinger is a great example of it.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Bowfinger, visit the Internet Movie Database.


Film Reviews

Other Reviews



About AFR



RSS Feed

Privacy Policy

E-mail Anthony