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Coming to America Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By David Chute

Half of the characters in this 1988 John Landis potboiler seem to be played either by Eddie Murphy or costar Arsenio Hall, swaddled in elaborate Rick Baker makeup appliances that render them unrecognizable but also weirdly immobile. As a pampered African prince who journeys incognito to Queens, New York, to find a bride who will love him just for himself, Murphy manages to look smug and naive at the same time. There are enjoyable sequences of Murphy's Prince Akeem applying his lordly manner to his new job in a fast-food emporium, and falling for the boss's spirited daughter (Shari Headley), who teaches him how to party down, American style. But the fish-out-water premise is never fully exploited. Star spotters will have a field day locating Cuba Gooding Jr., Donna Summer, Louie Anderson, Vondie Curtis Hall, E.R.'s Eriq La Salle, and Samuel L. Jackson in their minuscule supporting roles.

Academy Awards

Coming to America received Academy Award nominations for Best Achievement in Costume Design (Deborah Nadoolman) and Best Achievement in Makeup (Rick Baker).

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: John Landis

Stars: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley, Paul Bates, Allison Dean, Eriq LaSalle, Louie Anderson, Calvin Lockhart, Samuel L. Jackson, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Vanessa Bell Calloway, Frankie Faison, Vondi Curtis Hall

Released: June 29, 1988

Availability: DVD VHS


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