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Holy Man

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Holy Man

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum
Director: Stephen Herek
Rated: PG
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: October 1998
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Kelly Preston, Jon Cryer, Robert Loggia

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1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
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Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4

This is not your usual boisterous, outrageous Eddie Murphy comedy - instead, it's a gentle contemporary fable about America's shop-around-the-clock consumer mentality, starring Jeff Goldblum with Murphy in a supporting role. Goldblum plays a fast-talking, unscrupulous, self-absorbed executive at the Good Buy Network, a Miami-based home-shopping channel whose sales are plummeting when the venal owner (Robert Loggia) brings in an Ivy League media analyst (Kelly Preston) to fix things. Goldblum makes a pass at Preston who is totally unresponsive until they inadvertently encounter a smiling, dashiki-clad pilgrim (Murphy) walking along the causeway. Preston befriends the beatific, self-styled holy man - who calls himself "G" - and Goldblum discovers G's got a natural aptitude for convincing people to listen to his spiritual platitudes. Soon G's on the air as a guru pitchman, mixing sermons with sales, hawking with Betty White, Morgan Fairchild, Soupy Sales, Willard Scott, and Florence Henderson. Profits soar and soon G's a hot commodity, entrancing everyone. A rabbi claims he's talking from the Talmud, a Christian scholar insists he's invoking the New Testament, and an imam says he's speaking for the Muslims. The problem with "Holy Man" is that it's being hyped as a high-octane Eddie Murphy comedy and it's not. It's also not a cutting-edge, scathing satire. Perhaps that what the studio wanted but that's not what writer Tom Schulman ("Dead Poets Society") and director Stephen Herek ("Mr. Holland's Opus") delivered. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Holy Man" is an amusing if subdued 6 - but it's not the Eddie Murphy you might expect.

Copyright 1998 Susan Granger

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