Reviewed by: Carole McDonnell
|Featuring||Eddie Murphy, Larry Miller, Janet Jackson, John Ales, Gabriel Williams|
“Nutty Professor Two: The Klumps,” Eddie Murphy’s new summer film is a mixed bag. The movie seems to aim to be a family film. In a summer where so many movie “families” are at war with each other or murdering each other, here is a film with many scenes of family and family get-togethers. Yet the film also veers quite close to X-rated. Of course the film is about testosterone and manliness. So a film about “testosterone” might be expected to concern itself with the sexual. And yet, one is tempted to ask, “why so much?”
When the film begins, mild-mannered Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy in one of his many family characters) is discussing his “Buddy Love” problem. It seems Buddy—a macho testerone-overbalanced aspect of Sherman—has not completely simmered down inside Sherman’s psyche. Buddy is troublesome and like a possessing spirit, he makes Sherman do embarassing overly sexual actions at inopportune times. The psychiatrist recommends that Sherman accept this aspect of himself. But this is hard to do. Buddy doesn’t want to be accepted. Buddy wants to take over. It doesn’t help matters that Sherman has fallen in love with the smart genetics professor girl next door played by Janet Jackson and is aiming to marry her. Buddy and Sherman separate and become distinct individuals through the magic of cinematic science and Buddy tries to invade Sherman’s territory. Other complications include a man who is impotent because of his job loss or age or self esteem or a combination thereof.
If these were the only issues in the movie, the movie would be good entertainment indeed. But Executive Producers Jerry Lewis and Eddie Murphy fill the scenes with special effects like a sex-crazed giant rodent and a sex-crazed old grandmother. In addition, the film has a thirteen year old humor, touching on body humor—toothlessness, age, obesity, and flatulence. This film also falls into the category of those films that “would’ve been racist” if a white person had made it. Many black people might be offended by some parts. I, a black woman, certainly was.
The film doesn’t say anything new about machismo, sexuality and testosterone. Sherman loses his intelligence when he loses the Buddy aspect of himself. But this doesn’t seem convincing, it appears to be something tagged on for plot’s sake. Sexual health is equated with self-esteem and sexuality is shown as alive and well (a bit overboard) in grandmothers. And Sherman’s mother is one of the sweetest black woman I’ve ever seen who was portrayed by a man. But that’s about it. Teenagers will like the sexual jokes. But Christian teenagers will find some embarassing moments.