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84 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful movie!

Author: Chromium_5 from Minnesota
26 February 2004

The first part of this movie, showing Eddie Murphy's life as an African prince, is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I loved it. The wedding ceremony alone was so funny, I almost fell out of my chair from laughing so hard. I thought this could be one of the funniest movies of all time.

At about the halfway point, though, it stops being a laugh-a-minute riot, and kind of settles down into more of a quiet romance movie. The scene at the basketball game (with the man who worships Murphy) is the last really hilarious thing that happens. After that, it never again reaches the energy of the beginning.

This is not really a bad thing, though: it is still enjoyable from start to finish, even during the quiet parts. It has good actors, and it is fun to watch, and that makes it a great movie. I highly recommend it; it is one of my favorite comedies. I give it 8 out of 10 stars. See it if you haven't.

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65 out of 81 people found the following review useful:

Excellent humor and a nice story

Author: Philip Van der Veken from Tessenderlo, Belgium
10 April 2005

I once used to be a fan of Eddie Murphy and his movies, but in recent years the only one of "his" movies that I loved was 'Shrek'. He's excellent as the voice of Donkey, but the rest of his movies aren't exactly the best examples of fine humor (think of movies like 'The Nutty Professor'). It's a good thing that from time to time you can still see one of his older ones on the television, so you won't forget that the man really has some talent.

In this movie Eddie Murphy plays, most of the time, the role of Prince Akeem of Zamunda. On his 21st birthday he'll have to marry a woman he has never seen before. Because he isn't too happy with that and because he wants a wife that can do more than doing exactly what he tells her to do (like for instance barking like a dog), he decides to go to America to find the love of his life. The only problem is that the girl shouldn't love him for his title and his money, but for his personality. At first all he gets is a big culture shock, but eventually he'll find a girl he really likes...

This movie is really one of the funniest Eddie Murphy has ever made. It has a good story and offers plenty of laughs, but this isn't a comedy full of toilet humor and may therefor seem dated to the youngest viewers (let's say those who were born in the nineties). Personally I really appreciated the fact that not all humor was about farting, vomiting and other bodily functions, but perhaps that's just me, perhaps I'm just getting too old to understand today's humor (almost 27 right now).

There are some excellent parts in the movie (I really love those old men at the barber shop for instance) and overall the quality is high enough to enjoy the entire movie. That's why I give it a 7.5/10.

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45 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

Another Great Comedy Starring Eddie Murphy

Author: soranno from Las Vegas, Nevada
14 December 2002

After several years of starring in rowdy action comedies and con man capers, Eddie Murphy gets a chance to deliver a more restrained performance with this film and he manages to do so very well. Murphy portrays Akeem, an African prince who is being pressured into a forced marriage by his parents (James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair). The woman that they have chosen for him only sees him for his royalty and therefore does not really love him. Akeem sees this right away and brings his loyal servant, Semi (Arsenio Hall) along with him on a discreet mission to America where Akeem hopes to find a beautiful woman who will love him and accept him for who he really is and not just see him for his royalty. Posing as "common folk", Akeem and Semi get jobs at a McDonald's style restaurant and Akeem soon falls for the daughter (Shari Headley) of the restaurant's owner (John Amos). The film features many hilarious scenes and characters especially a group of boxing obsessed senior citizens who spend their days arguing with a barber shop owner. Murphy and Hall demonstrate their levels of versatility by managing to go under heavy makeup and portray several different costarring roles. Yet another example of why Murphy is one of the funniest actors in recent Hollywood history.

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51 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Eddie Murphy's greatest movie.

Author: PWNYCNY from United States
7 November 2005

If "Trading Places" is Dan Ackroyd's greatest movie, then "Coming to America" is Eddie Murphy's greatest movie, and for much the same reasons. Although the movie may be considered a comedy, and indeed has its humorous moments, its theme is quite serious. For it's about a man who is willing to sacrifice money, privilege, power, and position in quest for personal happiness. This is a powerful role and Eddie Murphy is great in this role. This movie is proof that when given the chance, a comic actor like Eddie Murphy is capable of playing a complex character that is central to a story. The producers of this movie evidently knew that in Eddie Murphy they had a actor around whom they could create an excellent movie, and with this movie they prove they were right.

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35 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Royal Laughs

Author: ( from fairview, nj
28 February 2003

COMING TO AMERICA (1988) *** Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley, John Amos, Eriq La Salle, Louie Anderson. Murphy does a fine job as an African prince unhappy about his upcoming nuptials to a woman he has never met so he sets off to New York to find his true love (and queen) with some sweet moments as well as comic (thanks largely to his and Hall's neat hat trick of playing several different characters thanks to the miracle of Rick Baker's make up). Look sharply for Vondie Curtis Hall (of tv's "Chicago Hope") as an overly welcoming fellow native stateside; Cuba Gooding Jr. in a blink-and-you'll miss cameo (getting a haircut) and the clever inserting of Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy as the Randolph Brothers from Murphy's and director John Landis' previous joint effort "Trading Places". Best bit: Murphy becoming a real New Yorker and greeting a screaming abusive neighbor with "Yes! Yes! ... and F**K YOU TOO!!!"

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30 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious romantic-comedy-drama with a great ensemble cast

Author: aaronclemens from United States
5 February 2005

Coming to America centers on the story of young prince, set up for an arranged marriage. He leaves his home in Africa to find a woman that he can truly love. Like all good tales, this one has already been told many times. It covers how a newcomer must adjust to a new culture, including encountering difficulties in the romance department, and fathers who just don't understand. This is all done to comedic effect, but not without romantic and dramatic overtones, to the credit of all involved.

I could watch this movie every week (actually, I have been lately, since it's on CINEMAX). The writing and direction was fantastic, the film is perfectly paced, with constant sight gags and witty repartee. The film works because actors selected have great timing.

Eddie Murphy (Akeem, et al) is quite versatile as the lead. He's in his very best form, earnest when he needs to in this feel-good comedy, with on-point comic timing.

Shari Headley (Lisa McDowell), she's level headed, perfect in delivering outrage and frustration as well as contentment and laughter.

Allison Dean (Princess in "Cool as Ice") as Patricia is not only hot, I love her nappturality hair styles. (Shari's got some nice ones too). Allison ideally portrays the jilted, petulant, and gold-digging little sister.

Eriq La Salle (Darryl) is the outlandish villain you can actually feel sorry for. His Jeri curl, damn, it's atrocious.

Arsenio Hall (Semmi, et al) was a great, smarmy, sidekick.

I could go on and on. The supporting cast, from James Earl Jones (King Jaffe Joffer) and Madge Sinclair (Queen Aoleon) to Frankie Faison (Landlord) and Samuel L. Jackson (hold-up guy), are spectacular.

Every time I watch it again, I find something new. I enjoyed it when I was younger, but now I like it even more.

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27 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Murphy and Hall shine

Author: SmileysWorld from United States
13 April 2002

It must take a lot of hard work to play multi characters film,and the hard work of Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall really pay off.They take a very unique idea for a film,play most of the characters in it,and the results are nothing short of hilarious.Murphy plays (among others), Prince Akeem of Zumunda.Akeem,discouraged with the arranged marriage tradition of his beloved country,seeks to find the true meaning of love in America.The typical fish out of water style here is worked to perfection by Murphy,as well as Hall.Also excellent are James Earl Jones(as always),and Madge Sinclair as King Jaffe and Queen Aoleon, Akeem's parents.Jones and Sinclair would later portray husband and wife again 6 years later,as the parents of Simba in The Lion King,a little trivia for those of you who may not have known.There is a clever tie-in involving Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy,portraying their characters from another Murphy film,Trading Places.A unique story,great character acting and a great supporting cast make Coming to America great fun to watch.

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23 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Gotta love this off the wall comedy

Author: mjw2305 from England
29 December 2006

Eddie Murphy is the Prince of Zamunda, he is very wealthy and very pampered. When he refuses to marry the bride his father has arranged for him, he goes to Queens to find his queen. With his closest companion (Arsenio Hall) they try to blend in with the everyday people of New York, taking jobs as cleaners in a local burger bar.

The entire film is packed with slick gags, hilarious characters and delightful parody. Coming to American is a romantic comedy that entertains you again and again, and Eddie Murphy is on top form throughout.

Recommended 7/10

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28 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Probably the funniest movie ever

Author: from Zurich, Switzerland
27 January 2004

I had to buy it on DVD... I saw this movie about 100 time on VHS and I felt this movie has to make part of my "digital-collection". I saw it first time in theatre in the out-coming-year and the gags influenced my whole youth. Even nowadays (I'm 27 years old) I often talk about this movie with my friends. I simply love it like all the Eddie-Movies till and including "Boomerang".

Where's the spoon? Aha...........

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Pure 80's fun ...

Author: ElMaruecan82 from France
17 April 2012

"Coming to America" is one of these films that best exemplifies the 80's exuberance and unique appeal, it's raunchy and outrageous on the surface but sweet and good-hearted inside. And the film carries such a tender naivety in its portrayal of the fictional country of Zamunda and Royal Family's lifestyle that it makes today's films depressingly cynical in their desperate attempt to copy reality by any means or feature likable losers making their bones on redeeming bitches.

Yes, a country like Zamunda is very improbable but that makes the beginning of the film so fascinating. That Prince Akeem, waking up on his 21st birthday, would be treated with such an exaggerated devotion echoes one of Cinema's greatest values: escapism and dream. It doesn't work in every case but here it does and for a simple reason: the "Coming to America" plot line perfectly contrasts with the "Coming from Zamunda"set-up, Zamunda had to be in a total opposition with New York for the film's own comedic purposes. It doesn't avoid some clichés like the passing of zebras and elephants to show that the film is set in the African continent, yet it's one of these moments we remember the most from the film just before, as the trailer says, the fairy tale stops as soon as the first shot of New York City appears.

"Coming to America", directed by John Landis and starring Eddie Murphy, is in the same vein than their previous work in "Trading Places", a movie that I compared to Frank Capra's classics. Only this time, it's not a wags to riches story but quite the opposite, it's a Cinderella story told in reverse since it's the Prince Akeem who comes to America to marry a woman, and as he explains to his friend Semmi (Aresnio Hall) : "I want a woman who will arouse my intellect as well as my loins". This premise leads to a succession of situations so funny that you almost forget about the romantic purpose of Prince Akeem's trip and the presence of Arsenio Hall as the second lead of the film is responsible of that as he literally outshines all the other cast members and creates the perfect comic-straight man duo that this kind of stories need. Semi's priceless look from the window when Akeem shouts: "Life. Real life! A thing that we have been denied for far too long!" is the perfect counterpart to Akeem's naive enthusiasm as he joyfully gives the F-word back to an angry neighbor.

After they find a place to live and a job, the whole New York's discovery part is a tribute to the actors' extraordinary talent to portray different characters from chatting barbers to drags, from singers to pervert reverends, they both nail their roles and we, as viewers, are invited to spot them every once in a while. Eddie Murphy is top notch as the old Jewish man in the barbershop, such an uncanny impression that I admit it fooled me the first time I saw it. The beauty of "Coming to Africa" is that it features two levels of true appreciation, one on the story and another through a series of sketch-like vignettes demonstrating two sides of the actors' talent, without overdoing them. In a way, "Coming to America" prefigures the appeal of Eddie Murphy's "Nutty Professor" and his wonderful talent as a comedian when given a good role, and Prince Akeem is one of his best. But to attribute the success of the film only on Eddie Murphy's talent would be untrue, and even more unfair.

Another force of the film relies on the whole casting, starting with the perfect couple that could have ever played Akeem's parents: James Earl Jones as the authoritarian King Jaffe Joffe and Madge Sinclair as the most comprehensive mother but no less Queen Aoloan, both who'd team up later to play much ore memorable royal couple in a certain Disney film set in Africa. Both Jones and Sinclair possess a majestic and absolutely irresistible aura, and the powerful image of King Jaffe Joffe inspires an ominous sensation beautifully conveyed by the music that accompanies his own entrance in New York. The rest of the cast include another veteran actor, John Amos, as the McDowell restaurant chain owner, Shari Hadley as his beautiful daughter, Eriq La Salle as her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend, Samuel L. Jackson in his typical scene-stealing 80's supporting roles and it also features briefs but heart-warming cameos of Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy as … you know, and if you don't, well, make a guess.

As a comedy and romance (not a romantic comedy, mind you) the film is not without some predictable situations, but it delivers what is expected, it's funny, it has a happy ending, and most of hits scenes can be watched regardless of their context. It's a great movie to watch and re-watch and its classical status can't be denied, since 24 years later after its release, the image of Murphy as the Old Jewish man, Arsenio Hall as a woman, the McDowell's logo and the unforgettable 'Soul Glo' will forever be associated with the 80's, a decade where movies were made just for fun and only for fun.

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