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Overall Rating

Awesome: 25%
Worth A Look42.24%
Average: 16.38%
Pretty Bad: 12.93%
Total Crap: 3.45%

9 reviews, 62 user ratings

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by Chef ADogg

"I went into seizures...and I'm not even an Eddie Murphy fan."
5 stars

Steve Martin has come along to show us how its done--"Bowfinger" is a glorious comedy made all the funnier by the notable lack of jokes about bodily functions (you won't find any "pale ale" in this movie, my friend).

You shouldn't read any movie reviews before going to see this film. Those asshole critics always ruin the best parts. For some reason, reviewers like Roger Ebert like to give away all the best parts--it gives them some sort of joy to rob the audience of all surprise (I can just see big Rog hunched over his computer, getting all tingly at the notion of revealing any given film's biggest punchline or scare).

I am not one such asshole (though some may disagree). I want you to see this movie fresh, without a bunch of dumb shit clogging your mind. That's why I'm not even going to touch on the plot, really, aside from saying that it's about a down and out director (the inimitable Steve Martin) who decides to get a big action star (Eddie Murphy) to appear in his film, but without telling him.

The joy of the film is how it surprises you at every turn, and also how it builds to a riotous finale. This isn't like "American Pie," where characters do things for no reason other than to elicit laughs from viewers (in my daily life, I rarely perform incredibly stupid acts to entertain some imagined audience); there is a certain logic behind "Bowfinger," and that's the key.

I would compare this film to "Raising Arizona" in the way that it examines the characters' immoral, deceitful actions without passing judgement on them; no one telling us what is wrong and what is right, just a clear, wonderfully focused story. The best way to experience a tale like this is without any fingerpointing, and Martin is thankfully smart enough to understand that.

Unlike "Raising Arizona," however, "Bowfinger" is mainsteam--magnificently mainstream. As helmed by Frank Oz, its the rare comedy that veritably crackles with reality. It shares that real life vibe with Oz's last movie, "In & Out," which, for my money, is one of the best comedies in recent years.

"Bowfinger" is sweet and warm, but never sentimental--Martin's script is played to punchy perfection, with no dead spots and a laugh every few minutes or so (my gleeful spasms during the movie's biggest moment actually offended a humorless viewer to the point where he felt it necessary to pelt me with candy).

A sublime experience and a shared home run for Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, and Frank Oz, "Bowfinger" had me laughing, but it also had me compelled. This movie serves to prove that comedy is just more comedic when you care about the characters and understand their reasoning.

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originally posted: 08/17/99 10:30:40
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User Comments

1/19/14 Monday Morning Great flick! 5 stars
7/28/08 The Dork Knight One of the worst comedies ever made 1 stars
1/10/08 Indrid Cold A clever idea, but not actually very funny. 3 stars
7/06/07 Total Crap I love the Tom Cruise/ Interview with the Vampire line. This movie is funny shit! 4 stars
2/13/07 johnnyfog pretty weak comedy and not at all funny 1 stars
2/09/07 MP Bartley Sigh...I pray for the day that Martin and Murphy are this funny again. 4 stars
9/01/04 A upton just ok 4 stars
5/13/04 John very funny and entertaining - 5 stars
11/28/03 Samuel pretty funny 3 stars
11/04/03 Charles Tatum Light Hollywood comedy, instantly forgettable 4 stars
7/20/03 R.W. Welch Satirical farce doesn't click all the time but is rather inventive. 4 stars
5/11/03 Andrew Carden Martin Gives A Solid Performance, but The Jokes Are Awful and Murphy Is Obnoxious. 2 stars
12/31/02 John Aster Habig a highly underlooked Martin masterpeice second only to Roxanne 5 stars
3/31/02 Marcia Lartz Persistently stupid but never quite lets you lose interest. 3 stars
11/29/01 The $1.98 Pyramid Bowfinger rocks! 5 stars
9/04/01 Butterbean Had it's funny moments. Especially how Martin "hired" his film crew. 4 stars
8/19/01 Dr. Thompson Eddy Murphy's nerd character was great "Merciful God!" Meh heh eh 4 stars
8/07/01 Joe Zappa Remember that part that was awesome? That was all of it! 5 stars
7/16/01 Mark White This is the worst movie Eddie Murphy has ever been in, including The Golden Child. 1 stars
7/03/01 Elvisfan Eddie Murphy is an under-rated actor. He does well w/Steve & vice-versa 4 stars
6/23/01 Wannabe Optimistic I really loved this movie. I wish comedic performances were nominated for Oscars at... 5 stars
6/11/01 Phil M. Afficianado Whether it was the cheap wine or the riotous scenes, I had convulsive gigglies. See it. 5 stars
5/13/01 The Moorhen She was from the planet NEON! 5 stars
3/02/01 Cesar if there was funnier,i could say that is good 3 stars
1/18/01 I love movies not that good, movie often boring 3 stars
9/04/00 The Extreaminizer Steve, Eddie, Heather Graham, Frank Oz....What more can you ask? Hilarious Comedy!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/14/00 humbert so very close to being good 3 stars
6/13/00 malcolm oh heavenly god, this movie was funny! 4 stars
5/21/00 Jess Eddie Murphy, Terrence Stamp, Barry Newman, Steve Martin, all awesome. 5 stars
3/25/00 Richard Wright Steve Martin funny again? Quit sleeping with young girls and get a decent script. 2 stars
3/17/00 David Rogers It had funny parts, but they were endangered. 4 stars
1/24/00 arnold this kicked ass 5 stars
1/15/00 Marli It's funny but little bit boring 3 stars
1/05/00 Joel Harwood Not bad 4 stars
12/30/99 Mic Hilarious, witty, satirical 4 stars
11/16/99 JonnyAngel hmmmmmm 3 stars
11/09/99 Ralf Behet Enjoyable. Especially the middle section is pretty funny. 4 stars
9/23/99 JimBob Love ya Laker Girls... Very good.I'm an old fan of E.M.&S.M.but 've been disapnted in past 5 stars
9/15/99 Geoff Wilke terrible, waste of time & money, dumb humor 2 stars
9/11/99 Timbo "I would never take advantage of you" "And I would never betray your trust" 4 stars
9/02/99 Malbert Some pretty funny moments, Eddie Murphy is awesome as always 4 stars
8/27/99 PhilmPhreak Genius! 5 stars
8/26/99 Ami the Wonderbread Martin is a great writer, Murphy was hilarious 4 stars
8/26/99 jvt Amusing enough 3 stars
8/26/99 swilson not consistent, but very funny in parts and Baranski is hysterical 4 stars
8/23/99 rocksolidace o.k. .... nothing special 3 stars
8/22/99 Daelic Seen the trailers? Then you've seen the film. Very mediocre. 3 stars
8/22/99 Wilusa Great movie. Made me wheeze in joy. 5 stars
8/21/99 BoB Boring Nonsense Grade: F 1 stars
8/21/99 Bain almost peed in my pants during the dog in high heels scene 4 stars
8/19/99 ralph roether 3 Bowfinger is really funny....i laughed out loud a lot.....i would recommend it... 4 stars
8/19/99 Admiral Crunch it was funny 4 stars
8/19/99 Geoff The best effort from both in a long, long, time. Go see it. 4 stars
8/19/99 Michael Grimm Great ending, Heather Graham is a slut 4 stars
8/17/99 deb smith mediocre and over hyped 3 stars
8/17/99 Dax Lots of chuckles throughout the flick, and the ending is hilarious 4 stars
8/16/99 Randall I laughed, loved the smart humor, disappointed by the low brow stuff 4 stars
8/16/99 davebo boarder running scene had me cracking up 5 stars
8/16/99 mason funniest movie of its kind ... even better than ed wood 4 stars
8/15/99 Ricky Urena I can't remember the last I laughed so hard watching a movie. 5 stars
8/14/99 Bob, Lord of Evil Third funniest flick of the year. Pissed myself at the end.... 5 stars
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  13-Aug-1999 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Frank Oz

Written by
  Steve Martin

  Steve Martin
  Eddie Murphy
  Heather Graham
  Johnny Sanchez
  Ramiro Fabian
  Robert Downey Jr.

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