This seemed like such a great premise, which solid talent attached, that I thought it would be a sure thing. It could have been a sharp satire/farce, like an update of "The Producers" for Hollywood, skewering the star system and raising some interesting theories about the _real_ power in Hollywood.
Instead it never quite gels. Even though he's the title character, and is played by the writer, Bobby Bowfinger is ambiguous: is he an underdog dreamer, or a cynical exploiter? Also, if he's never made a movie before, how can he have all these contacts and tricks worked out?
Eddie Murphy goes through another phase of his Jungian Shadow work, in a dual role as Kit Ramsey, the paranoid megastar they shoot the movie around, and the star's schlep brother they use as a body double. Even though Murphy gets second billing, I think he has more screen time than Martin.
It's actually the secondary characters who get the worst of it. Given a little more screen time, there could have been some memorable character bits from the Mexican migrant film crew, the leader of the MindHead organization, the studio exec who gives a green light to a nobody, and Bowfinger's stable of eccentric actors.
I have to wonder if this movie fell fictim to the same point it was trying to make: The big-name stars get the money, the fame and the girls, but in many ways they put the least amount of work into the finished product. It takes a willingness to step down and let the other actors in the spotlight for a scene or two.
That said, there are some inspired bits about Bowfinger's crew stalking Ramsey and microbudget filmmaking (remember, every movie costs $2000 cash). The "Fake Purse Ninjas" mini-movie is worth the price of admission itself (on a Tuesday night, at least.)