on August 13, 1999 by Christine James
Whether motivated by art or money, there's nothing more passionate--or desperate--than an indie filmmaker. Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) has nothing to lose but his dream (and about $2,500) when he embarks upon his last-ditch attempt to become an industry name by producing and directing an accountant friend's insipid action/extra-terrestrial invasion flick, "Chubby Rain." Bowfinger, whose dubious talents lie mostly in scheming and scamming, realizes the only way for the project to be marketable is if a top action star like Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) agrees to headline. Despite an admirable deal-inking attempt in which the would-be auteur pretends to be a script delivery boy, a big-time producer and member of Kit's Scientology-like cult, "Mind Head," the fiery-tempered celebrity not only throws the script out of a moving car, but puts a bullet through it as well to emphasize his disdain.
Undeterred, Bowfinger decides to stalk and film Kit, editing the footage to make it look as though he is in fact in the movie. Fortunately for Bowfinger and his motley crew of actors, Kit happens to be a paranoid delusional, making his reactions all the more appropriate given the film's plot.
While trying to evade permit-seeking police and the controlling honchos at Mind Head, Bowfinger ingeniously jerry-rigs his shoestring motion picture with the help of a sexually manipulative ingenue (Heather Graham), an aging diva (Christine Baranski), a dog in high heels, some Kubrik-worshipping illegal immigrants and a nerdy Kit Ramsey lookalike (also played by Murphy). Though the individual characters are not especially engaging or funny, the execution of the situation is. With its highly original, clever and well-paced script, "Bowfinger" scams edgy but light-hearted laughs from "Action!" to wrap. Starring Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham and Christine Baranski. Directed by Frank Oz. Written by Steve Martin. Produced by Brian Grazer. A Universal release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for sex-related material and language. Running time: 95 min
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