Time: 98 mins.
I am a huge Steve Martin fan. LA STORY and PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES are two of my all-time favorite movies. So, when I heard that he wrote and was starring in BOWFINGER I couldn't wait to see it. There's nothing funnier than Steve Martin when he's "on." Unfortunately, BOWFINGER just didn't do it for me. It was funny, but most of the best scenes were in the trailer...and they weren't made better by the context of the movie. I had high hopes for the film. The idea of it is brilliant. It just went wrong in the making...like so many of the films it was spoofing.
One of the things that was most disappointing was the total lack of character development. Nobody, even producer Bobby Bowfinger, grew or changed over the course of the film. They all had their roles to play hack producer, aging theater actress, the screenwriting accountant, the dumb hunk actor and the slutty ingenue and they played them well, but I never for a moment believed they were real people. Not always necessary in a comedy, but found in all the good ones.
The one reason this movie stays afloat and is funny at all is Eddie Murphy. He is brilliant as megastar Kit Ramsey, an actor who has everything except his sanity, and his geeky, younger brother Jiff, a guy who just wants to be accepted for himself not for who he's related to. Through mere body language and voice, Murphy is able to create two very distinct characters both hysterically funny. I'm glad to see Murphy back on the top of his game. It's been a long time since he's been this funny without special effects. Martin wrote a wonderful part for him, it's too bad he didn't work his magic on the rest of the script. There's an energy Murphy brings to the proceedings that is distinctly lacking when he's not onscreen.