Monday, May 26, 2008


Bowfinger; Comedy, USA, 1999; D: Frank Oz, S: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham, Christine Baranski, Jamie Kennedy, Terence Stamp, Robert Downey Jr.

In order to film his sci-fi screenplay "Chubby Rain", washed out director Bowfinger lies to his crew that the popular actor Kit Ramsey accepted to star in the main role - but actually decides to film the star using hidden camera. From close, he is replaced by his geeky brother Jiff, who looks a lot like him. But since Kit is afraid of UFOs, he acts with panic when all the actors start playing out the roles on the street, pretending aliens are attacking. Kit finds out and shuts down the production, but eventually gives in because the crew blackmailed him since they got footage of him exposing himself to cheerleaders.

Moderately funny and light comedy "Bowfinger" was proclaimed a noteworthy artifice by most critics, and that's granted since it's an easy fun with a few neat satirical jabs at the movie industry and the outsiders who want to get in. Steve Martin is nowhere near his top notch shape in his earlier comedies, yet his screenplay and solid direction by comedy veteran Frank Oz give it charm. Indeed, the concept about a big movie star, Kit (Eddie Murphy), who is walking down the streets and hasn't got a clue a cheap movie crew is filming him with hidden cameras in order to "forcefully" put him in their film, has potentials that are never completely fulfilled, and that big hole leaves an unsatisfying taste after the film is over. The authors should have put more jokes and interlude between Martin and Murphy, as well as try to get rid off a few plot holes (for instance, if Kit and his nerdy brother Jiff looks so much alike, why didn't the crew use Jiff to play Kit the entire time?), though most viewers will enjoy such gags like the parody on Scientology presented in Kit's organization called MindHead.


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