Eddie Murphy does a superb job playing multiple characters in this movie, especially in the lead role of Sherman Klump, a good-hearted obese university teacher, who is tired of people making fun of his weight. Hoping to win the affection of a colleague, Dr. Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett), Sherman will test a miraculous, but risky experimental, weight-loss pharmaceutical formula on himself. However, the results of experiment are not what, he wanted, as a dangerous obnoxious alter ego named 'Buddy Love' is trying to destroy Sherman, once and for all. Without spoiling the movie, too much, I have to say, as much as I like the original 1963 Jerry Lewis's film of the same name, for its odd sense of humor in the way, it parodies author Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, 'Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'. I just thought, 1996's 'The Nutty Professor' is a little more focus on the keeping the same type of a humor. In my opinion, the original was a little uneven with its jokes. It introduce some short jokes, yet, never expand on it. For the most part, the movie humor was all over the place, ranging from childish somewhat dumb slapstick to too avart-garde to understand. Because of that, many of the jokes, fall flat. The remake at least, kept the humor nearly everything in tone, even if the scenes with the professor's extended family weren't really needed. Because of this, the jokes in the 1996 version were better told. I understood, what the dream sequences, funny music montages, and hilarious outtakes were trying to go for. Not only that, but in a world of awful comedy remakes, 'The Nutty Professor' also stands out as a film to watch when you want a good laugh even if some of the jokes were somewhat offensive, gross and crude. For the most part, the fat jokes and toilet humor kinda do hit the funny bone for me. I'm not the best of shapes, myself, however, I'm willing to take a few jabs about my waistline, as long as the movie has a good message. This movie does. There is some heart to this film. I truly understand, why the likable professor wants to transform. I can't say, the same with Jerry Lewis's clumsy character in the original. All, I got from that movie is the fact that the somewhat annoying Professor wanted to boned his much younger, student; which is creepy. His drive for the change, really lacks depth. Another thing that bugs me, is how generic and tiresome, Jerry's nerd character is, as he used it, in a similar role in 1958's film 'Rock-A-Bye Baby'. Even his Buddy Love character doesn't seem new, as it clearly parodying his once-upon Rat Pack buddy, singer, Dean Martin. Plus, for a sci-fi formula plot that supposed to beef up the main character. Jerry Lewis's body doesn't really look any differ, as Buddy Love. Don't get me wrong, this remake also has its problems with the transforming like how does Sherman's body fat vanishes, yet his skin somehow shrinking to fit in, with his new body type, but at least, his Buddy Love seems like a new guy and the antagonist. This film really explore the conflict within man vs self. It was something that was missing from the first movie. Because of that, Sherman's speech toward the end, honestly does mean something, while the Lewis version kinda doesn't, as moments later, the film contradict those statements, when his girlfriend sneaks a few bottles, before their honeymoon. Because of that, the speech in the first movie toward the end doesn't seem so meaningful. This 1996 remake deserves more credit than it been getting. Some people had been dumping on it, for years. Even original producer like Jerry Lewis, abandoned it by 2009. Regardless, of what Lewis and other critics, thought. In my opinion, it's as good as the original, because of the amazing make-up magic and special visual effects at the time. The supporting cast in the new movie is also a lot better. I found Dave Chappelle's brief cameo as the bully comedian, Reggie Warrington and Larry Miller's character of Dean Richmond, to be just as funny, even if it's a bit mean-spirited. However, Jada Pinkett is a bit weak in the role. She really doesn't stand out at all. Regardless of that, the good hearted emotional music by composer, David Newman makes up for the lack of chemistry between Murphy and Pinkett. No really, give a listen to track 2 of Newman's original instrumental score. You will make you feel something. Overall: While, this movie is a bit raucous and crude, it did create some laughs, heart and poignancy than any Eddie Murphy movie has in quite in a long time. It was a Herculean task, but somehow, director, Tony Shadyac and his crew, succeed at it.
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