Coming to America Movie Review
Directed By: John Landis
Produced By: Eddie Murphy Productions
Release Date: June 1988
This is an American comedy starring two of the funniest Black comedians Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. it also co stars several familiar faces in other roles. The story is based on a rich African Prince (Prince Akeem played by Eddie Murphy), who being unhappy with his life in Zamunda, comes to America to find his true love who loves him for who he is and not for his money. So he adopts the life of a poor American by ditching all his money and belongings and applying for an everyday job. He also decides to live the poor life and rents out a really run down apartment in a run down rough area. It is good to see the acting of Arsenio as the reluctant friend who does not really see eye to eye with Eddie. Eddie Murphy does steal the show as he does with all his movies, well he doesn’t play all the characters himself like he does sometimes but still it is hard to beat his screen presence (thought bear in mind he does play other characters in the movie, can you tell who?). His body language and facial expressions really enhance his acting and emotions being portrayed in movie. When he is sad in the movie you really feel for him.
He finds work in McDowell’s and his companion and personal aide also finds work here. He manages to impress the owner, for example in one scene where we see that Akeem is well trained in fighting and takes down an armed robber at the restaurant in Queens where he works:
The owner just so happens to have two daughters. One called Lisa is very pretty and a strong character and Prince Akeen falls in love with her, he sees all the qualities in her that he was looking for. But there are several complications. Lisa already has a boyfriend Darryl (played by Eriq La Salle) who later she is engaged to by her father. The second is her father who in no way will let her marry a poor person like Akeem. Another issue is that Lisa’s sister starts to fancy Akeem and makes some sexual advances towards him.
So Akeem has his work cut out trying to win the girl while also trying not to blow his cover. Like when a fan of Prince Akeem of Zamunda recognises him at a basketball game and starts praising him. After much chaos and comedy there is a reveal and people find out who Akeem is and that he is royalty. Lisa’s dad is over the moon and happy she has found a rich man. His attitude towards Akeem changes.
Some of the funny scenes happen in the barbers with some classic dialogues you will remember. Other funny scenes involve the overly extrovert priest in the church scenes.
We see some really grand and funny scenes showing the kingdom of Zamunda and the Royal family:
After much persistence and almost giving up Lisa sees that Akeem does really love her and was not taking advantage of her. They finally end up getting married and Akeem offers to reject his royalty if that made her happy. She declines and becomes royalty, well who wouldn’t…..
This is an old movie but even after watching few times you could still easily watch this again and laugh and feel saddened. Its a romantic comedy with Eddie at the steering wheel.
Find more images, cast details and synopsis fro Coming to America movie on IMDB:
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