Thursday, August 22, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks: Actors in Multiple Roles

For the 34th week of 2019 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. We venture into the subject of actors in multiple film roles. It is a device where an actor can take on multiple roles either for laughs or for something dramatic. Here are my three picks as it all relates to the brilliance of Eddie Murphy:

1. Coming to America

The second and best collaboration between Eddie Murphy and John Landis also one of the most quotable films of the 20th Century. It follows Murphy as an African prince traveling to America with his friend to find his bride where Murphy and Arsenio Hall both take on multiple roles. With Murphy and Hall respectively playing Prince Akeem and servant Semmii, the other roles they play in the film with the help of makeup artist Rick Baker has them do so much. Murphy also plays a barber, a Jewish man, and a singer named Mr. Randy Watson while Hall plays a barber, a preacher, and an ugly-ass woman. “I hope you don’t mind me coming over and sitting down but I’ve been watching you all evening and I want to tear you apart! And yo’ friend too!”

2. The Nutty Professor

The remake of the legendary 1960s comedy starring Jerry Lewis has Murphy play Sherman Klump who is a fat college professor trying to be thin yet he has a family that is also fat as they’re all (except for a young boy) played by Murphy while Murphy would also play Klump’s alter-ego Buddy Love and a parody of Richard Simmons. Murphy definitely brings a lot of laughs as the loudmouth love yet he is a riot as Klump’s parents and grandmother who says a lot of nasty shit.

3. Bowfinger

One of the most underrated comedies of the 1990s comes a film that marks the rare pairing of Murphy and Steve Martin as well as probably one of the last great films they ever did. It’s a film that has Martin as a failed filmmaker trying to get a film made with Murphy as a big-time movie star with a lot of problems as Murphy plays the role of the movie star and a nerdy look-a-like. It is proof of Murphy’s talents as an actor and what happens when he’s working with the right people as well as people such as Frank Oz who at least cares about quality rather than cheap laughs. Even as I close this piece with a classic clip from Saturday Night Live which proves why Murphy was a comic genius and why he might prove once again why he was so awesome:

© thevoid99 2019


Dell said...

Love the theme within the theme. And I fully onboard with the idea that Bowfinger is way underrated. More people need to see it.

I saw the "White Like Me" skit back when it originally aired and I never forgot it. Yes, it's funny, but it's also poignant. That's why it's stuck with me.

Brittani Burnham said...

Oh man I love Bowfinger. That movie is hilarious. I agree it's very underrated. It's one of those movies that I have on DVD and when people browse my shelf they're like "you own that?" Yes. It's awesome.

Wanderer said...

I've seen Coming to America but it was soo long ago I don't remember they played multiple roles at all.

thevoid99 said...

@Wendell-I sometimes like to think that Eddie Murphy sort of picked up where Peter Sellers kind of left off though I hope My Name is Dolemite and his return to stand-up and SNL would mark this resurgence in his career. He needs to remind us why we loved him in the first place. Plus, Bowfinger is an awesome film that shows how much range he has as an actor.

@Brittani-There's nothing wrong with owning that film on DVD. It is a great comedy and anyone who has a problem with it can go fuck themselves.

@Wanderer-Watch it again and again and again. Some of us here are addicted to that film because it's so fucking hilarious.