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Coming to America
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Coming to America More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Very funny Murphy film

8/10
Author: gangstahippie from Canada(Montreal, Quebec)
9 August 2007

MPAA:Rated R for Language Quebec Rating:13+ Canadian Home Video Rating:14A

I haven't seen this film in a long time so I don't remember much of it.It stars Eddie Murphy,Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones.I remember it being very funny and entertaining.Fans of Eddie Murphy should watch this film.The film is basically about an African prince who with his friend, come to America(Queens, New York to be exact) and pretend to be poor so the prince can find a girl who will like him for his personality and not for the fact that he is a prince.Coming To America is a very funny and entertaining Eddie Murphy film and its one of his best.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Look out Queens, royalty of a different kind is on its way...

8/10
Author: Howlin Wolf from Oldham, Gtr Manchester, England.
24 July 2007

The 'Innocent Abroad' is a pretty standard device for a comedy, but for me what makes this example stand out is both Eddie Murphy's dedication to his craft and the fine gallery of supporting players that are on call to back him up. Of course, these days we know by now that Eddie isn't fazed at all by taking on multiple roles, but this is the film where arguably that tactic has paid off the most, and this initial success came relatively early in his career. Today when he tries it, the makeup is left to do the work but the jokes rely heavily on bodily functions. The bonus in this film is that the humour in "Coming to America" is largely cleverer, and yet the makeup is still terrific! So if you're expecting a reputed disaster of "Norbit"-sized proportions, then you have nothing to fear.

Joining in the fun are such familiar faces as John Amos in the role of the prospective father-in-law, and even a brief cameo role from a pre-fame Samuel L. Jackson that nestles alongside other well-known names and faces... For director Landis this represents something of a 'career plateau' too, as he has since struggled to be this contemporary or relevant again. A unique group produce big belly-laughs and a nice warm feeling, then. This is expertly constructed late-80's comedy.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

'It was a most gripping victory'

7/10
Author: Jack Yan from Wellington, New Zealand
25 December 2005

Coming to America is harmless fun—though at the time of the release I remember some African–American groups being less than delighted about it. I can't remember the reason, and being neither black nor white, I saw the film without any politicization surrounding race. And when viewed in that vein, this is a charming, traditional, popcorn love story, with the mainstream laughs you would expect from a 1980s Eddie Murphy film.

It's the old tale of the prince in an arranged marriage who wishes to seek, instead, an independently minded woman. And he meets her on his first night in Queens, New York, the place that seems the farthest from the mythical Zamunda, a wealthy African nation where zebras and lions roam outside the royal palace and James Earl Jones is king. The courtship is fairly speedy as the movie has to finish within two hours; though I'll hold back on whether Prince Akeem gets the girl or not due to IMDb rules.

However, this was produced by Eddie Murphy and he came up with the original story, so there are suitably naughty bits—in the day when Murph wasn't a Dad and wasn't making kid-friendly fare. The opening scenes of a pampered prince are enjoyable, not to mention an early appearance of Garcelle Beauvais; Madge Sinclair, as the queen of Zamunda, plays her role with such class she could pass for royalty. Murphy's and Arsenio Hall's multiple roles are memorable, including Murphy's (white) Jewish character, Saul, and singer Randy Watson. Eriq la Salle gives a convincing portrayal of a spoilt heir, in direct contrast to the conscientious prince—there is meaning behind these roles.

Despite these characterizations, Coming to America breaks little new ground, but it is largely satisfying. It is what it says it is—a romantic comedy—and succeeds on both those counts.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

That boy Eddie Murphy good

Author: DunnDeeDaGreat from Woodbridge, VA
11 February 2002

Coming to America is one of Eddie Murphy funniest films to date. This the first film where he played multiple characters and set the standard for other actors. My favorite scene is at the charity auction where Eddie plays Randy Watson. Arension Hall is also very funny as Eddie's sidekick. 10/10

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

It Starts Dull But Picks Up Halfway Through

5/10
Author: donuthaters12
24 July 2013

Coming To America is a film that I was hoping to like, but it's flaws prevent it from being at least decent.

Coming To America's plot details the ambition of a man to find a wife that is more appropriate for him rather than someone picked out by his parents. So he comes to America to look for one. The film's plot is predictable as you can pretty much figure out who he ends up with. The film's dialogue though is at least not as cheesy as I thought it would be. There are characters in here that are written so horribly and unfunny that it brings the movie really down, the people at the barber shop were corny and very over the top, this was also due to the acting but the lines that were said wasn't funny at all. Stronger side of the film is the second half, when they find work and things starts rolling.

This film doesn't feel like a John Landis film but rather an Eddie Murphy film. The film feels uneven, as the first quarter of the film is so boring and dull that none of it was funny and lowered my expectations on how the film would play out but surprisingly enough the second half wasn't too bad. The first few scenes play out a little too over the top, slapsticky and deals with clashing of cultures but when the tone of the film shifts to a romantic comedy, which I have a weakness for, it starts to become a little funny and the pace becomes a little faster. If the whole film was like this, I would have brought the rating up a notch.

The film was photographed by Woody Omens, who did an awesome job in Mel Brooks' History of the World: Part I as in that film, he captured big beautiful shots while at the same time not distracting us from the comedy. This film was very close and focused on the characters. Omens could have captured maybe a little more of the palace just to get that sense of royalty and importance. Even in New York, i felt that an opportunity was missed because most of the time the film takes place in closed and small spaces.

The film is more soundtrack driven and at times can get your head bobbing as it sounds fun and upbeat. The soundtrack keeps the tone of the film light and fun which is a big plus for me. Nile Rodgers was the composer for this film but he has done better individual soundtrack pieces for other films.

The acting in this film is so-so, there are moments where it's over the top and at times simple which keeps the scene feeling familiar and light. The first half of the film is a little over the top as Eddie Murphy at times take different roles and those supporting roles at times don't deliver the comedy very well. I know Eddie Murphy can play characters that are a little bit sentimental like the protagonist in this film, and in particular the second half of the film. His servant, played by Arsenio Hall, is a little more funny and has great chemistry with Eddie Murphy but their relationship wasn't played out as much as I hoped. There are others in the supporting cast that were fine and were fun to watch like James Earl Jones, Shari Headley and Allison Dean.

The film is a little bit sloppy in it's comedy and story but it picks up in the latter half, though predictable. The acting is a little too much at times but there are sentimental moments in there that are done well by Murphy and Headley. I wished the film spent a little more time on the chemistry between Murphy and Hall. Overall, it's OK but I won't be going back to it anytime soon.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are funny!

10/10
Author: Moviemachine-1 from Los Angeles, CA
30 May 2002

"Coming To America" is one of the best comedies ever made without a doubt! The movie is about an African Prince (Eddie Murphy) who travels to New York City with his best friend (Arsenio Hall) to find a wife who can respect him. The film co-stars James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair, John Amos, Frankie Faison, Shari Headley, Eriq La Salle, Paul Bates, and others. If you haven't seen "Coming To America", rent it or see it on television. You'll like it! I like it!

10/10 stars!

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Awesome

10/10
Author: John Cash from United States
11 May 2002

This movie was awesome! Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are hilarious. Eddie Murphy is Prince Akeem and Arsenio Hall plays Akeem's sidekick, Semmi. Eddie Murphy is going to Queens, New York to search for a wife before he has to marry a woman that he does not love. This movie is wonderful and hilarious and I recommend it to anybody who is an Eddie Murphy fan. Rating 10 out of 10.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Murphy still holds the throne of this "comedy fable".

7/10
Author: Jason C. Atwood from Suffolk, Virginia
6 May 1999

COMING TO AMERICA was Eddie Murphy's finest hour, and a big shift from raucous movies prior to this. So far, this remains to be Murphy's best effort, and not like these overblown remakes of the 90s. It's still the old-fashioned love story where a modern-day Cupid finds a new mate. but it took a genius like John Landis to turn it into a royal fairy tale set on the streets of Queens. And talk about a BIG movie, because it certainly feels like one! Murphy handles a very capable part as an African prince using his "royal oats" to find the new bride-to-be he really wants. While he seriously proves to be funny (and has often tried), he's less vulgar and much more profound in his comedic acting. Notice how two cultures collide, and how they interact directly with the movie's sense of humor. Best moments: the "cameos" of Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall anywhere in the movie. Whenever you see any of John Landis' creations, always remember to look for the little ad that says "See You Next Wednesday".

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

One Of Eddie Murphy's Finest

9/10
Author: sddavis63 (revsdd@gmail.com) from Durham Region, Ontario, Canada
23 September 2002

I know this is going to put me in the minority, but I am not at all a big fan of Eddie Murphy's over the top and in your face style of comedy. In fact, in many of his movies I find him to be vaguely irritating. That is not at all the case, however, with "Coming To America," which - in my view - must surely rank as one of his best efforts.

In this movie, Murphy adopts a deliberately low-key and somewhat innocent style of comedy as Prince Akeem of "Zamunda," which serves to make him all the funnier. Akeem travels to America in search of a bride, after rejecting the arranged choice of his parents, the King and Queen (the great James Earl Jones - who was perfectly cast as the King - and Madge Sinclair respectively.) He decides that the appropriate place to find a bride who will eventually be Queen of Zamunda is, of course, Queens, N.Y. - and the story takes off from there.

There is a stellar cast of primarily black actors. In addition to Murphy, Jones and Sinclair, we see established actors such as John Amos (in a very funny role as the father of Akeem's love interest) and Arsenio Hall as Akeem's servant. Also interesting are somewhat early views of then (1988) lesser know black actors such as Samuel L. Jackson, Vondie Curtis-Hall and Eriq LaSalle. Shari Headley (with whom I was unfamiliar) does a reasonably good job as Lisa, who Akeem falls in love with.

There are not many weaknesses to this movie. Unfortunately, Murphy slips back into his more outrageous style playing a couple of lesser characters who hang out at the local barber shop and, as I often find with Murphy, I found those scenes irritating. But as Akeem he was wonderful. Headley's performance didn't blow me away, although it wasn't bad, and the scene in which Akeem and Semmi (Hall) seem to "interview" prospective brides in a Queens bar started out humorous, but got old very quickly. Minor quibbles, though. This is a very funny movie.

9/10

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Missed the Mark

4/10
Author: benjaminburt from United States
22 August 2017

Perhaps the worst thing that works against Eddie Murphy's "Coming to America" is that many of the jokes fall flat. Who knows, maybe this was funny back in 1988. But remember, that year also gave us Beetlejuice, Die Hard, and Big, all of which hold up a LOT better than Coming to America.

Many of this film's jokes are rooted in stereotypes. There are scenes where a black barber excitably argues with his patients. This is a very long sequence. I thought to myself, "Is this supposed to be funny? Why? Because he's black and he's got a funny voice?" The fictional African country as well was almost uncomfortable to watch to think that Eddie Murphy actually thought that his portrayal could reflect any real culture.

I will give the movie this: it has heart. The actors look like they're having a good time, and I like most of the performances, but they're left on a bland script, tired story, and unfunny jokes. Overall, this movie tries, and it functions as a film, but if you're looking for a classic, this isn't one, and if this is the best Eddie Murphy film, what does that say about the rest?

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