“Coming to America” is one of the films I’ve watched and enjoyed the most as a kid. It’s as entertaining as it gets. It’s many things at once: a romantic comedy, an hilarious fish-out-of-water story, as well as an interesting take on the power of money. John Landis has had his load of real successful comedies, but that’s his masterpiece. Never has Eddie Murphy been that funny, except maybe in the videos of his stand-up shows, “Delirious” and “Raw”. But this is a film, with a real good story, and it goes like this:
Akeem (Murphy), the son of the King (James Earl Jones) of Zamunda, is now 21, and that means that he’s gonna marry the wife that his father chose for him. But the Prince has other ideas. He’s tired of being so darn rich. All his life, he’s been served and never did anything by himself. So he decides to leave for America, to live a regular life and hopefully, to find a woman he loves. And so he arrives in Queens, NYC, accompanied by his servant (Arsenio Hall). He’s about to experience crummy life, from the shitty apartment to the balls busting job at a fast-food restaurant. But it’s all worth it, because Akeem meets Lisa, and love is in the air.
The film is full of humor and good ideas. I just love the idea of a Prince who gets a job at McDonald’s! Every scene is memorable. I especially like the part when Sam L. Jackson robs the restaurant. God, is he a cool actor! But the real star is of course Murphy. He’s undoubtedly one of the finest comics in Hollywood. Even in his worst flicks, he still gets some laughs. But here, he’s at his best. I just love his character’s naive enthusiasm. Murphy sure has a great smile, and his performance is irresistible, as is the film as a whole.