The Nutty Professor (12)

Directed by Tom Shadyac
Starring Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett

Eddie Murphy returns to box office form in this broad farce of a comedy. An update of the Jerry Lewis film, Murphy excels and shows his versatility as a comic playing a multitude of roles. The professor of the title is tubby, genial Sherman Klump, who discovers a chemical compound that alters his DNA to make him instantly skinny and confident- the Eddie Murphy we know of old. This new person he names Buddy Love. It is Buddy who gets the girls Sherman fancies, but he is a testosterone supercharged oik, and not half as sweet as fat old Sherman! Murphy also gets to play his own mother, father, granny and brother as embarrassing but funny eccentrics. The dinner table scenes featuring multiple Murphys must have taken ages to film.

I am not a huge Murphy fan, and the fart gags were a bit too frequent, but even so I enjoyed this film a lot. All of Murphys roles were funny, the script was sharp apart from the toilet humour, the fantasy sequences were amusing. I liked the Godzilla take off. The effects of the Sherman make up and the transformation from Buddy to Sherman was well done. Personally though, I am surprised this film got a 12 rating. There are a lot of VERY crude sight and verbal jokes, lots of innuedos.
This film is no classic, but is an enjoyable hit, and one that has saved Murphy's ailing career. 7/10.

October 1996

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