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movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Bowfinger

Starring: Steve Martin, Eddy Murphy
Director: Frank Oz
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 97 Minutes
Release Date: August 1999
Genre: Comedy

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

Are you in the mood to laugh? 'Cause you gotta be when you see this spoof of the movie industry in which Steve Martin plays Robert "Bobby" Bowfinger, a down-and-out director who's crazy about a script, "Chubby Rain," about tiny aliens who ride raindrops down to Earth. Problem is: the only way to get the movie made is to get a bankable A-list star - which he cannot afford. Illustrating his frustration, there's a hilarious scene in which Robert Downey Jr. is a prominent producer, "a player," whom he spots at a restaurant. So Bowfinger decides to stalk TinselTown's hottest actor, Kit Ramsey - that's Eddie Murphy, and surreptitiously capture him on celluloid, editing the surreptitious footage into his low-budget ($2,814) movie. The angry, already paranoid Ramsey goes nuts when he finds himself interacting with Christine Baranski and other actors from "Rain" who accost him, reciting their lines. Seeking tranquillity, Ramsey retreats to a posh haven called MindHead, run by manipulative Terence Stamp. Is this a riff on certain stars' devotion to Scientology? When he was writing the screenplay, Steve Martin originally envisioned a wimpy, spiritual actor, "a Keanu Reeves type," but adapted him into a black action star with Murphy's help. Directed by Frank Oz, Martin's elegant goofiness blends with Murphy's hip cynicism and the result is a deliriously outrageous combination. Plus, Murphy plays another role as his nerdy stunt double/errandboy. And, if you think Heather Graham's ambitious ingenue-who-runs-off-with-a-lesbian role resembles Anne Heche, you're not alone. Martin dated Heche for several years before she jilted him for Ellen DeGeneres. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Bowfinger" is an amusing, inventive, entertaining 8. It's a funny, funny satire that skewers Hollywood.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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