Friday, June 20, 2008

An Open Letter to Eddie Murphy...

Eddie.  Eddie.

C'mon Eddie.

I am a fan.  And as a fan someone has got to give it to you straight.  It ain't workin'.  I don't know who you have guiding your career, maybe no one.  Whatever/whoever it is needs a good kick to the curb.

 Look at this picture.  Look at it.

I CANNOT put myself through another "Eddie Murphy High Concept Comedy."  Please.  You are Eddie Murphy for Christ's sake.  You are better than this.  Screw Axel Foley, I am starting to think Axel Rose is getting better career advice than you.

Let's review:
*Saturday Night Live - huge chunks o' brilliance. "Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood,"  "Gumbi,"  the convict poetry, "C-I-L-L my landlord."  Classic.
*48 Hours - Great.  Made an ok script a good movie.
*Best Defense - ooof.  But ok, everyone is allowed a misstep, especially early on.
*Beverly Hills Cop - the pinnacle.  Sylvester Stallone was supposed to play Foley.  I shudder.
*Golden Child - Starting to get a little self indulgent but BHC was so huge you got by.
*Beverly Hills Cop II - Not the first one, but some solid laughs.  More a bad script than a bad Eddie.
*Coming To America - Ok.  Some laughs.  Many people love it more than me, but I don't hate it.
*Harlem Nights - For me, exact opposite of Coming to America.  Most people thought it missed.  I LOVE this movie.
*Another 48 Hours - blah but it's ok.  At this point you are still Eddie Murphy.
*Boomerang - Another movie people saw as a miss but I LOVE this movie as well.  I told you, I am a fan.
*Distinguished Gentelman - this is where, except for a few notable exceptions, the Eddie ship starts treading water.

Between 1992 and the present someone (I am giving you the benefit of the doubt) let you think the following were good ideas:  Beverly Hills Cop III, Vampire in Brooklyn, Metro, Holy Man, Life (RIP Ted Demme), Nutty Professor II, Pluto Nash, I Spy, Daddy Day Care, The Haunted Mansion, Dr. Doolittle II, Shrek III, Norbit, and unless I am drastically wrong  - Meet Dave.

To be fair there were highlights:  Nutty Professor, Dr. Doolittle (tried another remake, not a fan but it did well so someone liked it), Bowfinger (great - see below), Shrek (flashes of old Eddie brilliance), Shrek II and Dreamgirls.

Thats W 6 (and Doolittle was a gimme) /  L 14.

Not good.  And not only not good, but the failures were HUGE failures.  Like Ed Wood failures.  Not quirky Johnny Depp Ed Wood, like real Ed Wood Ed Wood.  Norbit?  Like we need another Eddie in a fat suit movie?  Nothing is gonna beat the two dinner scenes in Nutty I & II.  Leave it be.

But I get it.  Instead of just trying to get on base you were trying to get out of your slump with one pitch by swinging for the fences and hoping to knock one out with a sure fire kid's hit like the Doolittle, Haunted Mansion and Daddy Day Care.

But your EDDIE MURPHY.  We know you got it.  You know you got it.  I didn't even mention Delirious & Raw!

So here's what we're gonna do Eddie.  If a script comes across you desk with any high concepts - talking animals, talking cars - anything talking except humans?  Shred it.  Any movie that requires you to play multiple parts in make-up?  Shred it.  Anything that involves you shrinking, growing, anything - shred it.

Stuff like Dreamgirls is ok, but one of the reasons it popped is because it was different.  Do Dreamgirls II, III, IV and V and you erase the good vibes of the first one.

This is what you need:  a good, simple script.  A script you can make your own and better but doesn't REQUIRE you to do so, the pieces are there.  The only character exception I would is something like Bowfinger.  A smaller part that allows you to upstage everyone.

Call Judd Apatow, call the Cohens (now there's an idea!), call Alexander Payne, Jay Roach, even Wes Anderson.

Call someone you respect with their name above the title to give you that comeback because you are one TALENTED motherfucker and we could use you right about now.

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