← Back to Reviews

Coming to America


Eddie Murphy had one of his biggest hits with Coming to America, an expensive and somewhat entertaining comedy which found Eddie playing the crown prince of a fictional African country who travels to Queens, New York to find himself a wife after deciding that he's tired of being waited on hand and foot and not thrilled about having no say in the wife that has been selected for him. Eddie's Prince Akeem and his manservant Semi (Arsenio Hall) arrive in Queens, pretending to be broke and get jobs at a fast food restaurant where Akeem falls for the owner's daughter (Shari Headley).

This film is lavishly produced and well cast (James Earl Jones and the late Madge Sinclair are perfect as Akeem's parents, the King and Queen)but there's a certain emptiness about the whole thing that doesn't sustain a film of such length and expense.

Murphy is charming as Prince Akeem and he also gets to shine in one fabulous scene in a barbershop where he and Hall play everyone in the scene, but the film does not sustain interest until the end.

Eddie later became involved in a lawsuit that claimed he stole the idea of the film from someone else which also casts a pall over the film which makes it hard to view all these years later, but it was one of Eddie's biggest hits and for his hardcore fans, there are laughs to be found, but personally, I think Eddie has done better work (Boomerang, The Distinguished Gentleman, Bowfinger, Beverly Hills Cop, Dreamgirls), but judge for yourself.