|Paramount Pictures | Release Date: June 29, 1988||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
The romantic stuff is tepid. Luckily, his onscreen buddy, Hall, never strays far. Coming to America is at its best when they're playing off each other, and not just as the prince and his buddy. [29 Jun 1988, p.69]
Murphy takes on a softer edge than usual this time: the plot recalls a Jeanette MacDonald operetta of the Depression, the mythical African country looks like a Beverly Hills fever dream, and, true to Murphy's idealized black middle-class view of things, everybody gets what he wants without much fuss or sacrifice, and virtually the only poor people in evidence are white. Read full review
It's a sweet, oft-told story, and Murphy and Hall add a number of very sharp supporting roles-hidden by makeup-to add spice to the general level of gentleness. [1 Jul 1988, p.A]
Eddie Murphy does everything in this movie successfully. Coming To America remains his most personal work and a great argument that a movie can be decent and wholesome despite having enough profanity to make Bill Cosby lose sleep. A perfect argument for Eddie Murphy as decent guy even without the fame and fortune. Not that he's planning on giving it back though. Read full review
James Earl Jones proves that he is probably the only actor in America who can wear the skin of a full-grown lion-jewels in its eyes, its tail in its mouth-over street clothes and not look like a damn fool. But there's not a thing he can do with this flaccid, foolish film. [29 Jun 1988, p.1]
Eddie Murphy's latest picture, Coming to America, is a harmless, fairly amusing comedy that will delight Eddie Murphy fans and keep everyone else mildly entertained. [30 Jun 1988, p.E1]
In past celluloid lives Eddie Murphy has been responsible for a handful of the most popular movies ever made, which explains why he has been able to bring Coming to America to your neighborhood theatre with its misogyny, technical ineptitude and witlessness intact.
Though Coming to America is a romantic comedy the director steers the film more often toward quick, in-and-out comic situations and gags that are only mildly funny. In part this is due to the fact that Mr. Murphy plays the prince with cheerful, low-keyed innocence that is completely legitimate, but is not supported by the short attention span of the screenplay. The romance is tepid. Read full review
Coming to America seems to be more career move than movie. After the raucousness of Beverly Hills Cop II and the raunchiness of Eddie Murphy Raw, the star apparently wants to assert his claim on the currently vacant title of America's Sweetheart. His aspirations must be bigger and badder than that. We want -- may actually need -- something more from this gifted man than Eddie Murphy Tame. [4 July 1988 p.66]
There are some laughs, Murphy is appealing and the ancient theme of love conquering all is beguiling. But America's mean-spiritedness lingers after its pastel-pretty ending.
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