Anyone interested in film, comedy, the art of storytelling is familiar with Steve Martin. The talented man has gone from "wild and crazy" to a serious and important voice in entertainment. His fans can rattle off their favorite Steve Martin films, The Jerk, Roxanne, LA Story. Cheaper by the Dozen (1 & 2), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and many many more.
But there's a little film from 1999 that doesn't get much love when people talk about his projects, and it's one of my favorites, Bowfinger. I watched it again today--first time in a long time--and enjoyed it as much as when I first saw it, maybe more. Martin and Eddy Murphy make a fantastic team.
If you're not familiar with Bowfinger, here's the lowdown. Bob Bowfinger is nearly-broke filmmaker. The movie begins with him reading a script, an amazing script, a script that is so good, it must be made into a movie. The problem? Bowfinger has no money and no resources. His solution--get the world's biggest mega movie star to be in his movie, only the star rejects the idea outright. Not to worry--Bowfinger follows the star and secretly films him doing everyday things. With a cast of crazies, the film gets made and Bowfinger perseveres through it all.
Bowfinger has one of my all-time favorite lines of any film. He tells one of his actors that Tom Cruise didn't know he was in that vampire film until two years after it was made. As if Mr. Cruise walked around as a vampire in his everyday life. And speaking of Mr. Cruise, Bowfinger doesn't hold back in its opinion of Scientology.
Martin not only carries the film, he wrote it, too. He's written other film as well--he definitely knows how to create a successful screenplay. In addition to my favorite quote, I love the montage at the end of the film. As the film is shown the ragtag group of lovable losers sit and watch themselves on screen. Finally, Martin hears the applause and simply smiles. For an entertainer, that says it all, and I wonder if, when filming, Martin had to act. I'd like to think this is how it feels to create something that is loved by millions. And Mr. Martin has experienced that feeling time and time again.
The show holds up well, even though it's almost twenty years old. Eddy Murphy playing duel roles is amazing, total comedic genius. If you haven't seen the film, give it a shot--if you're a fan of Martin and Murphy, you'll love it. And if you have seen the show, watch it again and you'll realize just how great it is all over again.