• Publication date: September 18, 2009

A Wannabe Director�s Big Break Arrives Is He Shameless Enough To Pull It Off?

Former �Saturday Night Live� cast mates Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin star in �Bowfinger,� (1999) a hilarious comedy poking fun at the absurdity of Hollywood life. Filmmaker Frank Oz, the man behind numerous classics including �Little Shop Of Horrors� (1986) and �What About Bob?� (1991) oversees direction, ensuring an hour and a half worth of continuous laughter.

  • Publication date: September 18, 2009

A Wannabe Director�s Big Break Arrives Is He Shameless Enough To Pull It Off?

Former �Saturday Night Live� cast mates Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin star in �Bowfinger,� (1999) a hilarious comedy poking fun at the absurdity of Hollywood life. Filmmaker Frank Oz, the man behind numerous classics including �Little Shop Of Horrors� (1986) and �What About Bob?� (1991) oversees direction, ensuring an hour and a half worth of continuous laughter.

The film marks Martin�s resurgence after mediocre early to mid-90s pics like �Leap Of Faith� (1992) and �The Spanish Prisoner� (1997). Martin, by many accounts delivers one of his best performances yet in �Bowfinger,� and resurrects memories of the 70�s and 80�s most �wild and crazy guy.� Not only does Martin return to the zany, renowned stage presence that brought him fame, but he also returns to his roots as a comedic writer. As a former member of �Saturday Night Live� alongside Murphy, Martin perhaps grasps how a script should be written to accommodate both talents.

Likewise, Murphy�s performance is reminiscent of works from his heyday. Murphy continues the multiple character foolery he pioneered in �The Nutty Professor� (1996) by depicting both fictional action star Kit Ramsey and his twin brother, Jiff Ramsey with convincing success.

Bobby Bowfinger (Martin) is a struggling wannabe film producer not far from his 50th birthday. For years he has attempted to find his big break to no avail. However he believes he�s struck gold when his accountant, Afrim (Adam Alexi-Malle) presents him with the script for �Chubby Rain,� an oddball science fiction flick. Bowfinger wastes no time in shopping the script, of course, within his extremely limited means. That entails stalking industry mogul Jerry Renfro (Robert Downey Jr.) at his favorite Hollywood restaurant.

Complete with an outdated and disconnected car phone, Bowfinger pretends to be speaking to other apparently important industry bigwigs. This, of course is the fledging filmmaker�s chance to shop �Chubby Rain� to Renfro. Miraculously, and partly in jest, the exec agrees to distribute the film on one condition: the leading man must be superstar actor Kit Ramsey.

Elated and undeterred Bowfinger manages to sneak into the star�s mansion. Unfortunately Kit met the producer�s request with little enthusiasm, and (quite literally) ejected him immediately.

With a budget of $2000 Bowfinger is determined to complete the film � with Kit�s consent or not. Illegal Mexican immigrants fresh from the border become his low-budget crew members, while a friend swipes equipment from a nearby studio. A number of up and coming female actresses are on board as well, willing to do anything to appear in a film.

Yet one problem still remains: what about Kit? The sham producer has an ingenious solution: trail the actor throughout town with hidden cameras as cast members blurt lines at him. Surprisingly this works, at least until Ramsey goes underground fearing for his sanity.

Bowfinger attempts to find a Kit Ramsey look-alike and discovers a perfect match: Kit�s geeky twin brother, Jiff. Production is back on schedule but can anyone pull off such a crazy scheme?

Oz and Martin�s picture was well received by critics and audiences alike, earning over $98 million worldwide and a Teen Choice Award nomination. Soundtrack features funky 70s soul tunes by the likes of James Brown, Average White Band, and Marvin Gaye.

�Bowfinger� is rated PG-13 for sex-related material and language. Its runtime is 97 minutes.