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Coming To America (1988)

Hes looking for his princess in Queens

Directed by:

John Landis

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 112 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

Hear anyone use the terms 'Soul Glow' or 'Sexual Chocolate', and chances are they're a fan of 'Coming to America'. I should know – I'm one of them.

Interestingly, here Eddie Murphy works largely without his seemingly requisite wisecracks and expletives, yet produces arguably the finest comic performance of his career. He's the likable Prince Akeem, tired of having petals thrown at his feet, his shoelaces tied for him and his privates hand-washed by beautiful maidens (well, actually he quite likes that last one). Faced with an impending fixed marriage in his fictional African homeland of Zamunda, Akeem opts to jet across to the other side of the globe in search of a woman who'll love him not just for his fortune.

So, accompanied by his less-than-enthusiastic servant Semmi (Arsenio Hall), Akeem shacks up in a decrepit New York apartment block (it's in Queens, and he's looking for a future Queen – geddit?) and gets a job mopping floors in a wannabe-MacDonald's burger joint. There Akeem meets and inevitably goes all gooey over the boss' daughter Lisa (Shari Headley), the only problem being that she's already dating the smarmy heir to a hairspray empire (hilariously played by 'ER''s Eriq La Salle).

This was the first (and best) Murphy movie to see him hand the make-up department copious amounts of over-time by playing a string of different characters himself. Hall also gets in on the act, and steals the show whenever slipping into the guise of the fantastically enthusiastic Reverend Brown ('If loving the Lord is wrong, then I don't wanna be right!').

A nice touch is added with the brief inclusion of Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy as Mortimer and Randolph, the swindling old codgers given their just desserts in 'Trading Places', Murphy's previous project with director John Landis.

It's Got: Samuel L. Jackson in an early appearance as an armed robber, and a VERY brief appearance by a young Cuba Gooding Jnr as Boy Getting Hair Cut.

It Needs: A better package for DVD-buyers – is one piddly trailer really the best they can offer?

DVD Extras Just a trailer DVD Extras Rating: 1/10

Summary

A charming, polished and original comedy featuring a great performance from Murphy and some memorable laughs.

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 26, 2010 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    well, actually my COMING TO AMERICA DVD contained alot of special features.
    Including costume designs, deleted scenes and much more!
    You should really check for the latest dvd for bonus features.

    BTW..loved the movie..so funny!!!

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