Coming to America (1988)

  • Time: 116 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Romance
  • Director: John Landis
  • Cast: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones


Prince Akeem, heir to the throne of Zamunda, leaves the tropical paradise kingdom in search of his queen. What better place than Queens, New York to find his bride? Joined by his loyal servant and friend, Semmi, Akeem attempts to blend in as an ordinary American and begin his search.

One comment

  • This movie is famous because of the number of characters that Eddie Murphy and Asinio Hall manage to play. It is not that this is something new, but rather the make up is so well done that you cannot even recognise them. One character that Murphy plays is in fact white, and when I suggested to my friend that this was Murphy, his reply was – it can’t be, he’s white! The basic plot is simple. Murphy is Adeeb, the heir to the throne of an obscenely rich African country and he is going to be married to a woman whom he had not known until she was presented to him on his 21st birthday. He has had everything done for him since he was a kid and is getting sick of it. When he learns that his wife to be’s opinion is tailored so that everything he likes, she likes, he gets fed up and decides to go on a trip. His father thinks that it is to sow his wild oats, but he wants to find a wife. So he takes his servant, and goes to Queens in New York because, logically thinking, that is where he is going to find his queen. Moreso, he wants to live like a pauper and hires the grungiest flat available and gets a job as a floor mopper at McDowells, a restaurant that is very similar to a certain other restaurant which shall remain unnamed so as to protect me for defamation.

    The plot and themes aren’t deep, but that is not why I watch these movies. I watch them because Murphy has a cool sense of humour. He plays Adeeb, a naive African prince really well, and he plays the other characters even better. The barber shop scene is the highlight of this character swapping, even though he also plays the lead singer of a band called Sexual Chocolate.

    The movie is very formulaic with the beautiful woman that Adeeb loves and the horrid, slimy boyfriend. In the end, as can be expected, she decides to marry him. This is not what I am interested in, but rather the spice that Murphy adds to his movie. Also the tie-in with Trading Places is also quite cool.

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