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Starring: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham, Christine Baranski, Jamie Kennedy


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Steve Martin is one of my major influences.

I've realized recently that no one ever asks regular dorks like me who our influences are. They only ask huge movie stars, and they usually say Lenny Bruce or Monty Python. Perhaps they don't ask me because I haven't been influenced to do anything other than scratch myself and occasionally spew out some half-assed commentary about movies.

Anyway, Steve Martin is responsible for some of the greatest comedy albums and some of the best movies ever, especially "The Jerk." Steve is now a really subtle and eloquent writer, as evidenced in his "Pure Drivel" book, and it translates well in this screenplay of his. I sometimes miss the sheer insanity of his earlier work, but his current stuff is still pretty good.

It's Eddie Murphy, however, that really makes this film, although I'm curious as to why only Murphy and maybe Martin Lawrence seem to consistently play multiple characters in every friggin' movie. Murphy not only plays Kit Ramsey, who could really be considered a parody of what he might have been (or what people generally thought he was) back in his Beverly Hills Cop prime, but he also plays the subdued and completely dorky Jiff, who ends up playing Kit in Bowfinger's psychotic filmmaking efforts.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Murphy's Kit was not just the ultra-cool action star type of guy, but a seriously messed-up looney that actually takes Bowfinger's ridiculous "Chubby Rain" alien script seriously when actors randomly approach him and recite lines from it. THAT is what made this film work. Well, that and the final shot of Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy in ninja outfits. I'd love to see that movie...

Martin's script not only has straightforward ridiculous comic moments, but a lot of very subtle and sharp wit just underneath. Throw in the huge lampoon of the farce that is Scientology, and you've got a flick that celebrates the manic spirit of filmmaking and savages the ridiculous power and ego game that it's become.

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