Review by Ross Anthony

Bob Bowfinger (Steve Martin) is an aging Hollywood producer wannabe who, in desperation, makes a cheesy alien movie that he believes is the next "Independence Day." Action mega-star Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) is cast to play the hero; however, since Ramsey won't even glance at the script, Bowfinger has to film him a la paparazzi (hence the word desperation). Director Bowfinger cons the rest of his cast into believing that Ramsey prefers to be filmed this way, "It's an action piece! We just need shots of him running away from the Aliens!"

Murphy's second role in the picture is that of a nerd whose two great talents are running errands and looking like Kit Ramsey. Murphy's portrayal of this character is both charming and funny.

The script (also written by Steve Martin) is pretty funny, but it's not especially funny. Although it does sport two especially riotous moments. The first hilarious bit pits Murphy (as the nerd) against highway traffic (as in, he's got to run across eight lanes of speeding vehicles). Bowfinger assures him that the drivers are all stunt men. The second moment is the last scene of the film -- sort of tacked on after the climax and resolution (a bonus second ending); wherein, Martin and Murphy play geriatric ninja and ninja dork respectively in Taiwan. Save for the highway scene, this ninja sequence packs nearly the same yuck value as the rest of the film.

The picture could have benefited by characters that weren't just ridiculous, but also endearing. Further, though the ending technically works, other more interesting conclusions could have been employed. (Click here for Ross Anthony revision notes.)

Silly and fun, but short on heart; "Bowfinger," a film about a film entitled "Chubby Rain," proves slightly above average.

Starring Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham, Christine Baranski.
Directed by Frank Oz. Written by Steve Martin.
Produced by Brian Grazer at Universal.
Rated PG-13.


Copyright © 1999 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:19:27 PDT