The Nutty Professor

Bomb Rating: 

Personally, if I had wanted to give Eddie Murphy a good reason to scream and act idiotic for a couple of hours I would have given him a glass of Liquid Plummer and a straw.

Personally, if I had wanted to give Eddie Murphy a good reason to scream and act idiotic for a couple of hours I would have given him a glass of Liquid Plummer and a straw. However, producer Brian Grazer and director Tom ("Ace Ventura, Pet Detective") Shadyac made the process much more complicated and uninteresting by giving him $60 million and a script based on the 1963 Jerry Lewis comedy.

Eddie plays about ten roles in this movie, including the Nutty Professor himself, Sherman Klump, who's about the size of a Geo Metro. His other roles include a Richard Simmons-like exercise guru and Sherman's entire family. Sherman discovers a magic potion that turns him from a fat professor into the good-looking, testosterone-charged Buddy Love. This gives him an excuse to run around like Jerry Lewis after a few too many Mountain Dews. (INTERACTIVE BONUS: Insert your own requisite French insult here.)

Given that Murphy's last few films have been gems like "Vampire in Brooklyn," "The Distinguished Gentleman" and "Boomerang," why not let him play one role successfully before giving him ten to tackle? Why not provide him with something other than a cliché-riddled script to work from? Would you be stunned to learn that fat Sherman gets the girl and gives several speeches on how attraction should be based on something other than appearance? (Like what? Hat size?) Then again, the writers of this film are also responsible for such enduring classics as "Police Academy 2"; they probably consider it an "accomplishment" when they're not being actively stalked.

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