Reviewed by: Marcus Mann
Starring: Eddie Murphy and Jada Pinkett
Big movie. Big potential. Little reward!
Professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) is the big man on campus. He is a science research professor, a genius… and he weighs about 400 pounds. Despite the fact that he has been raised in a dysfunctional family, professor Klump is a warm, shy, caring, and very likable character.
Professor Klump seems to feel comfortable with himself until he meets the chemistry department’s beautiful new professor, Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett). Klump falls instantly in love and is determined to lose weight. The plot thickens as the nutty professor tests his research project on himself, a potion which alters the DNA structure to induce unbelievable weight loss. Thanks to the miracle of modern science, the potion unleashes Dr. Klump’s alter-ego, Buddy love; a thin, loud, vulgar, perverted man with absolutely no inhibitions. Sherman Klump must find the strength from within to accept who he is and to defeat the evil Buddy Love.
Highlighting this film is the fact that Eddie Murphy, by means of amazing makeup technology, is transformed into many of the movie’s leading roles. During one scene, the entire Klump family eats at the dinner table. Five of the six characters are played by Murphy. (The transformation time for Murphy to take on the appearance of each character took approximately 4 hours in makeup.) One gets the feeling that if as much time had been taken to perfect the script, the jokes would have been much better. As it is, however, the banter between family members is crude, sexually explicit and often disgustingly vulgar.
This comedy is itself the victim of a Dr. Jekyll—Mr. Hyde dilemma. At times the movie is funny and at other times it is simply mean spirited and disgusting. On occasion Eddie Murphy shines as a talented actor, and then the movie degenerates into vulgarities and junior high school jokes about human bodily functions. In the film, the likable Dr. Klump proves that good can overcome evil. However, from a comedy point of view, this film’s evil-perverse side wins out—making the movie viewer the ultimate loser.
“The Nutty Professor” contains some implied sexuality although no nudity or actual sexual activities are shown. The film is littered with talk about sex and contains a lot of obscene and vulgar language.