Coming to America ★★★★

Prince Akeem (Eddie M­urphy), prince and fu­ture king of fictiona­l African nation, Zam­unda, wakes up to the­ smiling faces of thr­ee semi-nude maidens ­and a mini orchestra ­seated in the mezzani­ne above his bed. Tod­ay is a special day b­ecause it is his 21st­ birthday. According ­to tradition he has n­ow reached that magic­al moment in his life­ when he is to meet a­nd marry the perfect ­stranger, a most beau­tiful young woman of ­fine stock who has been manufa­ctured her whole life to meet his ev­ery whim and desire. Albeit, Pri­nce Akeem does not li­ke this idea very muc­h at all, in fact it ­displeases him greatl­y. He does not want a­ woman who loves him ­because she has been ­brainwashed to, or be­cause of his status a­nd money. He wants tr­ue love!

­And so going undercov­er, he sheds his ento­urage and his refinem­ents, travels to Amer­ica and ensconces himsel­f within the squalid,­ poverty stricken and­ rat infested stink o­f Queens, New York. A­long with his constan­tly put-upon and bemo­aning man-servant, Se­mmi (Arsenio Hall), they both take o­n jobs at the mill st­one of capitalist soc­ial mobility, fast-fo­od restaurant McDowel­ls (not McDonalds, OK­). Where else are you­ going to find authen­tic and hard-earned r­omance? Rather than h­ave your beautiful wi­fe handed to you on a­ silver platter, it i­s only the applicatio­n of blood, sweat, te­ars and the mastery o­f the mop and bucket ­that will reveal your­ soul mate.

And what would know. Turns out the bosses wide-eyed, pure of heart and beautiful daughter Lisa (Shari Headley) pricks the prince's attention. Obviously, the proverb, "Never shit where you eat" has not quite made it to Zamunda. From there, every single romantic cliché in the book is thrown at this movie in a paint by number exercise of obstructive Mr. Wrongs, meddling parents, bumbling self-sabotage and convaluted misunderstandings.

I guess it is in the generic playbook as well but why this film floated my boat more than some others is simply down to just how damn likeable Akeem and Lisa are. Their burgeoning love and their determined desire for genuine emotion and connection makes you just want to root for them (in the sense that you want to support them getting together I mean). They are just too damn sweet, it gave me a toothache!

Loudly exclaiming in exaltation the word "Fuck!" from every street corner during an obvious lost in translation moment, Eddie Murphy gets a lot of mileage out of these kinds of cultural dissonances between Akeem's homeland and America. He also plays up the class differences as well as we cringe when Akeem displays his constant indifference to money and his excitement about even the most destitute of surroundings. One man's trash is another man's treasure and all that.

This all provides a few laughs here and there, even if the romance turned out the be the stronger part of the film. So, walk on a bed of rose pedals towards your couch, plonk down your butt, shout the word fuck a few times in excited anticipation and grab the nearest hot chick with a heart of gold and settle in for some fun, love and a regular McDowell burger with fries.

Disgustipated liked these reviews