Bowfinger
(1999)











Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 1 Hour and 37 Minutes


Reviewer: Erik
Grade: B

As you shake your head in disbelief while watching this movie, keep in mind there are probably people out there like Bobby Bowfinger. This movie somehow walks the fine line between absurdity and realism.

Bowfinger (Steve Martin) is a down-and-out filmmaker, with titles to his name like "The Yugo Story". He wants his 15 minutes of fame, and thinks he might get it with a new script he's read called "Chubby Rain" about aliens invading earth in tiny raindrops. He schemes his way into a meeting with a big-time producer, who says he'll do the movie if Bowfinger can get action star Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) to star in it.

Bowfinger sneaks into a party at Ramsey's house to pitch the idea. He fails, and must go back to his assistant Dave (Jamie Kennedy), his best star Carol (Christine Baranski) and his screenwriter Afrim (Adam Alexi-Malle) with the bad news. Instead of giving them the bad news, he says Ramsey has agreed to do the movie.

Bowfinger's plan is to film what he can without Ramsey, then film the Ramsey scenes without Ramsey not knowing he's in a movie. He tells the cast that Ramsey never wants to see the camera, only wants one take, and doesn't want to meet the cast because he'll be too busy studying his character.

None of this would work if not for Ramsey's membership in Mind Head, a weird New-Age cult that fills his head with strange ideas. So, when approached on the street by a woman shouting about aliens, he's convinced he's really being pursued.

Bowfinger needs two actors to round out the cast. He recruits Daisy (Heather Graham), who just stepped off the bus from Ohio and is willing to sleep her way to the top. He also needs a Kit Ramsey look-alike and finds one in Jiff Ramsey, Kit's brother. Jiff is tickled pink to be given a shot at movies when all anybody cares about is his brother. He even runs across a dangerous freeway (convinced the whole time there are stunt drivers)...twice.

As you watch "Bowfinger", you shake your head a lot. Yet you laugh a lot. Sure the idea is ridiculous, but some people would probably take that chance for a shot at fame. If you can deal with that, then chances are, you'll love "Bowfinger."