Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Top Ten Stupid Comedies for Intelligent People

Ed here: Today Salon ran a piece called The Top Ten Stupid Comedies for Intelligent People. Some pretty good choices. You can find the rest on the link below. But for me the number 10 entry is my favorite. I wrote a lot of really bad plays when I was in my late teens and early twenties and was involved with numerous little theater groups filled with daydreamers, misfits and dead-enders very much like myself. This movie depicts these yearners with a gentle comic touch than only makes them seem all the crazier. I'm not an Eddie Murphy fan (he was great early on) but he takes this one away from Steve Martin. Plus the subplot with Heather Graham, looking gorgeous, is hilarious--esp. the payoff.

10. "Bowfinger" (1998)
The title character's big idea is about as stupid as they come: down on his luck filmmaker Robert K. Bowfinger (Steve Martin) decides that his next film must star the world's biggest action icon, a paranoid, racist basket case named Kit Ramsay (Eddie Murphy). But Ramsay is both ungettable and certifiably insane, so Bowfinger decides to shoot him from a great distance away with telephoto lenses ("This film is only for Madagascar and Iran, neither of which follow American copyright law"), then cut the footage together with shots of Kit's nerdy twin brother, Jiff (Murphy again). That's enough silliness to fuel a movie; director Frank Oz ("Dirty Rotten Scoundrels") and Martin, who wrote the script, push "Bowfinger" in the realm of the sublime ridiculous. The movie is a bumper crop of bizarro moments: a dog walking through a parking garage in high heels; the hapless Jiff letting himself be talked into crossing a six-lane freeway, and most of all, Kit's freaked-out rants. "A black dude who plays a slave that gets his ass whipped gets the nomination," he grouses at one point. "A white guy who plays an idiot gets the Oscar. That's what I need, I need to play a retarded slave, then I'll get the Oscar!"

1 comment:

Todd Mason said...

Despite enjoying most of Heather Graham's work, at least, I've never sat through BOWFINGER...guess I'll make that effort sometime soonish. Meanwhile, this list loses points for not noting the Debt, to say the least, IDIOCRACY owes C. M. Kornbluth. And ...THE HOLY GRAIL ain't stupid atall.