Directed by: Frank Oz
Premise: A has-been Hollywood producer (Steve Martin) shoots a film with a big star (Eddie Murphy) by stalking him and editing footage into the film.
What Works: Bowfinger is a smart satire and it takes many shots at Hollywood culture, including production, script development, and celebrity. One of the film’s funniest elements is the Mind Head cult, a parody of Scientology, which Murphy’s main character belongs to. Heather Graham, known for playing sexual but naïve characters, lampoons herself in the role of Daisy, a just-off-the-bus Midwestern actress who is rather unscrupulous about finding ways of getting more screen time.
What Doesn’t: The ending of the film wraps things up a little too neatly, although it is satisfying to see the characters complete their film.
DVD extras: Commentary track, featurette, deleted scenes, and outtakes.
Bottom Line: Bowfinger is one of the cleverest and sharpest satires of Hollywood ever made, exceeding Wag the Dog in many regards. This is an underappreciated film of Murphy and Martin, and it would be nice to see the two of them collaborate again.
Episode: #99 (June 4, 2006)