Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
The tragedy of “Bowfinger” is that the premise could be very funny—everyone loves to see Hollywood making fun of itself. Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver.
Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) is a desperate producer and film director. He is eager to break into the “big-time” at any cost. Bowfinger uses his power of persuasion to make the Sci-Fi “Chubby Rain,” a script about aliens invading Earth in raindrops. He is able to hire everyone he needs to make the film except a star actor. So this misguided director plans to trick top-choice Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) to be in “Chubby Rain” without his knowledge. What the audience knows and what Kit doesn't is from where most of the humor generates.
There is only one positive element in the entire film—teamwork. The crew has a lot of it, including allegiance to Bobby Bowfinger. But the film turns downward quickly and continues in that direction. One crew member, Daisy (from Ohio), uses sex to advance her acting career. She not only sleeps with most of the male crew, but a lesbian relationship is also implied. Alcohol is abused. Profanity is plenty. Bowfinger uses various forms of deception (fraud, blackmailing, lying, etc.) to get his way. Ethics and values are destroyed through the use of humor. It is interesting to note that C.S.Lewis once said “if Satan can get us to laugh at sin, then he can get us to accept sin.”
My advice is resist the temptation of Murphy and Martin’s comedic appeal and skip this one. Instead look to the more recommendable “Wizard of Speed and Time”.