Coming To America

1988, Movie, R, 116 mins

Review

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This light romantic comedy represents a change of pace for the phenomenally successful Murphy. Here he plays a polite, pampered, and fabulously wealthy African prince who comes to America in search of true love. Although the fairy-tale script is as old as the motion picture industry itself, the resourceful cast of COMING TO AMERICA brings freshness to the annoyingly cliched material. Unfortunately, Landis' inelegant direction nearly derails the film. Poorly paced, indifferently shot, and haphazardly edited, the movie lurches unsteadily from scene to scene, undermining the best efforts of its performers. Luckily, Murphy gives his sweetest, most touching, and most genuinely likable performance to date, playing a character who embraces society instead of holding it in contempt. Arsenio Hall, in his first featured role, is also impressive. The film is best remembered in Hollywood for the plagiarism suit brought against Paramount Pictures by columnist Art Buchwald, claiming that it was based on his two-and-a-half-page treatment "King for a Day;" after years of bitter litigation he won his lawsuit over net profits. leave a comment

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