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Bowfinger

Director:Frank Oz
Writer:Steve Martin
Universal Pictures; PG-13; 97 minutes
Release:8/99
Cast:Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham

Bowfinger's premise is a fresh one: down-and-out producer Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) is convinced he'll get a career-revitalizing break if he can land a Hollywood superstar to headline his film. Washed-up Bowfinger pitches the idea to action star Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy), only to get tossed out of Ramsey's limo, although the rebuff doesn't thwart his bottomless ambition. Bowfinger decides to film Kit without the actor knowing. Already a paranoid Scientologist, Kit goes over the deep end when strangers begin shouting at him about aliens. Bowfinger recruits Kit's nerdy brother (also Murphy) for snippets of dialogue and action scenes.

Martin's script, weighed against the current outcropping of dumbed-down Hollywood comedy, is refreshingly clean. In terms of humor, however, it's a far cry from his New Yorker essays or old comedy skits. Murphy shines in his dual roles: satirizing his stardom and skating on self-effacing irony with each respective brother. Despite the big names, Bowfinger moves a bit slowly for seriously funny success.


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