"Coming to America" was shown last Saturday on KTN and then "48 hours" was show on Nation TV this Saturday.I wonder if kids today know how funny Eddie Murphy was – and that he didn’t always do just kid or fart movies. He had a presence and acting that would define movies and an era (48 hours was copied by about a million other black/whitecop buddy movies), and and even make boring movies funny (golden child)
In Coming to America, he’s Akeem, an African prince who comes to America with his buddy/minder Seme (Arsenio Hall). I first saw this movie in high school and have watched it virtually a dozen times – or every time it appears on TV and I’m bored.
Of course the fascination has faded since now realise how skewed it is – there are no poor Africans in it (except the food salesman at the stadium), and it portrays a lifestyle that only massive looting by an African leader (like Mobutu or Abacha) can provide. Still, it had so many real moments like African students working illegally and having to lie about simple questions (I go to the University of the United States).
things I remembered
Life upside down
Shari Healdey, who starred as Lisa in Coming to America, fell off the movie planet and was never seen again in anything significant. She could have had a halle berry career, but she has even out-paced by Garcelle Beauvais who was one of the three flower girls, who preceded Akeem - and went on to star in the Jamie Fooxx show and several movies.
- Arsenio Hall could act - he played slightly fewer characters than Eddie but was just as funny (as one of the barber shop wazee, the preacher, drunk horny lady). Unfortunately his movie career ended after he appeared in another Eddie Murphy movie - Harlem Nights.
- Eric La Salle (long before E.R.)
- Samuel Jackson was the hardest working actor in the 80’s and 90’s appearing in virtually every movie that required a bad-ass or tough black man (here he attempts to rob the restaurant where the boys work)
John Amos still acting 30 years after Root’s
- Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy who starred alongside Eddie Murphy make a very brief as the two homeless old men who Akeem gives thousands of dollars) In Edie’s 1st movie Trading Places, me made them bankrupt)
- Frankie Faison as the boy's landlord
- For me) Louie Anderson explains career advancement in the fast food business to the boys from Africa – it takes two years from mopping the floor to assistant manager “where the big bucks roll in”
- Darryl's whole family wore "soul glo" (curly kit)
- When the boys step out in their new American clothes - wool caps, bright athletic jackets with bumper stickers, and tight jeans.
Movies on Kenyan TV are shown raw and un-edited - both 48 hours and coming to America had nude breasts, and plenty of f-bombs. Also I don't laugh at the jokes directed at Africans anymore (play with Lions, or being used to rats)