Coming to America (1988) Review

When Prince Akeem an extremely pampered African Prince decides that he wants to find a wife that he can respect for her intelligence and would love him for being an actual person rather than a Prince he travels to America and ends up in Queens, New York.


On his 21st birthday Prince Akeem rejects a marriage proposal as he realises that he wants nothing more than to marry for true love. Something his father King Jaffe Joffer does not agree with and that he must follow the tradition. Queen Aoleon is a little bit more realistic and wants nothing more than her son to be happy.

Leaving Zamunda for America travelling with his servant Semmi Morris they are about to find out that New York City is not so forgiving as they attempt to be “normal” people with standard jobs. This does obviously create some rather amusing moments and that is something that is enjoyable within the film. I guess the main problem I had eventually catching up with this one is that it is held in very high regard, I struggle with hyped up comedy films more than any other genre. I feel as though your expectations for it being funny are then always too high to what you eventually witness unfold.

The plot was always obvious to what the outcomes of the deception would be, hiding his royal life when actually falling in love was always going to piss her off. Hence the drama created and obviously not then being able to trust him. Nothing different about that really, shall we give the ending a little bit of credit? Possibly.

Eddie Murphy takes on quite a few roles in this one in particular when in the barber shop, as well as obviously the leading role. I actually find him quite tough to watch now, given the whole Nutty Professor and enjoying that when they first came out (sorry for admitting that) then realising how stupid and pathetic it all was. It now makes it hard for me to really appreciate Eddie Murphy and I feel if I had watched this a lot earlier I might have enjoyed it more. James Earl Jones was the ultimate scene stealer and I wanted so much more him! Arsenio Hall deserves a mention as well as he was just great.

So I guess I have to say that I tried and this film wasn’t really for me, had some nice and decent moments but nothing to blow me away.

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