Bowfinger (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
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How does Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin), Hollywood's least successful director, get Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy), Hollywood's biggest star, in his ultra low-budget film? Any way he can. With an ingenious scheme and the help of Kit's eager and nerdy brother Jiff, an ambitious and sexy wannabe (Heather Graham) and an over-the-hill diva (Christine Baranski), Bowfinger sets out to trick Kit Ramsey into the performance of a lifetime. Enjoy the fun with Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin - together for the first time in the hit comedy Bowfinger.
Filmmakers often remark that it's just so hard to make a bad picture that few would take on the challenge if they weren't so naive. Steve Martin's Bobby Bowfinger is cut from that pattern, one of those sweet, indomitable operators of Hollywood who seem to be descended directly from Ed Wood (of Plan 9 from Outer Space infamy). To resurrect his ramshackle existence, Bowfinger opts to film his accountant's sci-fi spectacular, Chubby Rain, about aliens invading in raindrops. The snag is he needs to attach action megastar Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy), an actor so paranoid he counts the K's in scripts to uncover possible Ku Klux Klan influences. When his effort fails, Bowfinger hits on an ingenious scheme to film Ramsey without his knowledge, throwing his actors at the hapless star whenever he appears in public. Only Kit begins to believe he's being hounded by aliens for real, and runs hysterically to his guru (Terence Stamp) at a Scientology-clone group called MindHead, where people walk around in fine suits wearing white pyramids on their heads. Deprived of his star, yet not to be undone, Bowfinger hires a look-alike, Jiff (also Eddie Murphy), to fill in. The tone of the picture is sometimes flat, rather than deadpan, but that's nitpicking. The farce is quick and engrossing, and populated with terrific performances, especially by Eddie Murphy, whose dual role as Kit and Jiff showcases his character-building gift, and by Martin, whose Bowfinger, part con man and part would-be visionary, manages to capture your sympathies. Heather Graham's would-be actress cheerfully sleeps her way to the top like she knows she's supposed to, and Christine Baranski plays her shopworn method actor with myopic self-absorption. --Jim Gay
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Top Customer Reviews
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.)
Steve Martin stars as Bobby Bowfinger, a down-and-out filmmaker who's about to call it quits until he finds the perfect screenplay (it's a sci-fi film called Chubby Rain). Suddenly, the only thing standing between Bowfinger and a major Hollywood deal is signing Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) to star.
When Kit throws Bowfinger (and his script) out of his limo, Bowfinger decides that Kit's definitely going to be in the movie -- whether he knows it or not. Without being totally honest with his other cast and crewmembers about Kit's involvement, Bowfinger begins filming around an unknowing star, following him to restaurants, to his tailor, and to his home.
Thus Bowfinger begins creating his masterpiece with a cast of has-beens and hopefuls (including Heather Graham, who plays a wannabe actress who will do anything to be a star, and Eddie Murphy, who plays Kit's body double) and his crew of illegal aliens. Meanwhile, paranoid Kit is starting to think that there really are aliens after him...
Bowfinger has Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, and...Eddie Murphy. What more can any laugh-seeker ask for? Martin's knack for screenwriting -- and a perfectly-hilarious cast -- make this movie a frequently-played part of my collection.
BOWFINGER takes such a scenario -- in which wannabe filmmaker Bobby Bowfinger figures out a way to actually make a movie with a big-name star in spite of not having the star's permission, the film equipment, or much in the way of start-up capital to pay cast and crew. I found it very amusing to watch Steve Martin make the most out of the limited resources he was working with -- including an office that looked like a fixer-upper on its way to demolition, and his trusty old dog.
I watched this film immediately following THE MUSIC MAN, and was amazed that not only was The Music Man mentioned in BOWFINGER, but there are strong similarities between these two movies! The most striking one is that the main character in BOWFINGER, played by Steve Martin, is doing his best to earn his living by doing something he feels uneasy and a bit dishonest about . Another similarity is the focus on "the big break" which comes in the form of the Wells Fargo wagon delivering wonderful packages in The Music Man, and in the guise of the Fed Ex truck bringing good news for movie deals in Bowfinger. The third big similarity is that both movies end with the main character realizing that what he has been doing actually does work -- and he's not the fraud that he suspected he might be. I find this to be a very heartening message for all of us who have ever wondered if we had what it took to be a success.
BOWFINGER is witty, thought-provoking, and ultimately uplifting -- and the cast is superb! I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys thoughtful comedy with a good heart.
Perhaps I should restate myself: not everybody involved in filming "Chubby Rain" is sympathetic. Bobby Bowfinger, the producer, is too machiavellian to be likeable. He's turning fifty soon, which would apparently bar him from making it big, so he is determined to produce his magnum opus at any cost. His black-and-white view of the world generates a few laughs ("There, there, there's the door," he consoles Daisy who comes in to audition, but can't pay cash), but at times he is too ruthless to be funny.
Daisy steps off the bus with the words "where do I go to be a star?", but she turns out to be neither simple-minded nor naive. Her plan is to sleep her way to the top, and eventually she does get into bed with everyone on the set. That's funny the first few times, but not too funny.
The two people who really deserve better are Jiff, Kit Ramsey's double, and Carol, a lowly actress who's been kept on hold for years. Carol believes wholeheartely in the project, and the viewers are getting ready for the Big Revelation when she'll find out the truth and be devastated (if you don't know what I'm talking about, watch "Galaxy Quest," "A Bug's Life," or "Chicken Run" - they all use this exact plot device).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Steve Martin are funny again. With Eddie Murphy too, this one is a real treat. Even the dog in the movie, is an exellent "method actor". Read morePublished on July 8 2004 by Kurt Olav Helle
Martin and Murphy are great in Bowfinger. Heather Graham holds her own. Martin plays Bowfinger as a desperately untalented but somewhat charismatic b movie director. Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by J
I made the assumption that anything with Eddie Murphy is worth watching. Lets just say this movie proved me Wrong! Don't rent/buy/glimpse or wince at this trash of a film.Published on Feb. 9 2004 by Dance Dance Dance
Just ridiculously funny, written & starring comic genius Steve Martin,... & also starring another comedic genius in Eddie Murphy!.. Read morePublished on March 26 2003 by Jose Shaffernafferquez
Frank Oz makes another comedy triumph with BOWFINGER as Steve Martin plays Bobby K. Bowfinger, a director with a hot new script and not many actors to fill in. Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2003 by Michael J. Chrush
Wassup, America?! First of all, Bowfinger is a great movie. I love most movies, and this one is near the top. Read morePublished on Jan. 19 2003
I watched this flick recently while sick in bed. It helped pass an otherwise miserable afternoon, and I was grateful for that. Read morePublished on Jan. 6 2003 by Gregor von Kallahann