The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

You never know when you're being filmed.

I've lived by this philosophy for many years, and it has gotten me many looks of derision and fear over time. People have called me crazy, an idiot, an egomaniac and yet it never phased me. I live in Los Angeles, and here in LA, more than anywhere else in the world, there is always the chance that someone, somewhere, is filming you.

I try to give them a good show.

If I fill my gas tank with a little extra zeal at the pump, I'm just trying to get better ratings. My noted outbursts at fancy restaurants? Just adding some drama to the scene. Breaking into song on the street corner? Never know, it could be a musical. You know all those homeless people you see on the street talking to themselves? That's not random gibberish, that's well-written dialogue.

Finally a movie has shined the light on the truth of this crazy world of ours. And it took a Jerk to show us the way.

Bowfinger, written by Steve Martin, is the story of Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin), a failed movie producer who decides to make one last film starring the biggest action hero in Hollywood, (played by Eddie Murphy.) Except Eddie doesn't know he's in the movie. They simply hide the camera, send the other actors in and film the results. Then, for the close-ups, they hire a geeky Murphy look-alike (also played by Murphy.)

Personally, I've been living this movie for many years. And while the footage has yet to find its way to COPS or America's Funniest Home Videos, I know it's out there. And one day, when I least expect it, it'll hit. And I'll be a star.

Bowfinger is an amusing film which differs from my life in one very important way - Murphy, being unknowingly filmed, is also losing his grip on reality, and Murphy is nothing short of hilarious as his paranoia escalates. The supporting cast is quite funny. Christine Baranski is a glorious aging theater diva and Terence Stamp is a deliciously convincing new-age guru. Heather Graham also has a large part in the film, playing the bright-eyed young starlet ready to sleep her way to the top. Unfortunately, while the character tends to disrobe for just about everyone in the story, she never actually disrobes for the camera, marking one of the first times we've seen Heather Graham fully clothed for an entire movie. Here's hoping it doesn't start a precedent.

Is this a laugh-riot that you need to see or you will forever suffer? Well, maybe. It's funny. It's also a Steve Martin comedy about Los Angeles. Which means that while Bob the Farmer in Wichita will laugh at much of the movie, there's a lot of stuff that he won't get, having never lived in Hollywood.

And also, since there's very little chance that people are out in Wichita secretly filming Bob as he plows his fields, he may not be able to relate nearly as well as I did.

Personally, I think this movie should be seen not as a light-hearted summer comedy, but as a call to action. If Blair Witch has taught us anything, it has taught us that anyone can make a movie. You don't need a zillion dollars. You don't need Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts. You don't need any particular knowledge on how to make a movie. All you need is a camera. Point and shoot. And if the people you are shooting are interesting enough, or pretty enough when they're naked, you too can have a hit.

I say we start installing cameras on every corner in the nation. Hook them all up to a web page and Boom! Movies go the way of the Dodo. You want entertainment, log on and pull up the corner of 3rd and Kenmore. Now everyone's a star! Any trip to the grocery store, any jaunt down to the laundry mat, any visit to the corner to purchase drugs. It's all entertainment for the masses!

Write your Congressman! Write your Senator! Together, we can make this dream a reality!


OK, maybe I'm getting a little excited. But I so rarely get behind a cause.

Anyway, back to the film. Bowfinger is funny yet slightly predictable. I give it 3 1/2 Babylons.

Editor's Note:

I think that the SMC went a bit overboard in his zeal with this review, but I'm letting it slide. And so should you, reader, secure in your knowledge that the director's cut of "The Self Made Critic: The First 28 Years" will never show up at your local Blockbuster.

Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Frank Oz
Starring: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham, Bob Blikowski of Baton Rouge, Jody Hengflip of Boise, Chuck Puppers of Fort Worth, THE LIST GOES ON!!! YOU COULD BE NEXT! ACT NOW!!!

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