Making the Grades
When Bobby Bowfinger's (Steve Martin) accountant hands him a sci-fi script about aliens, this struggling filmmaker is certain his spaceship has come in and his lifelong dream to make a movie can be a reality. With 2,184 dollar bills he's saved one dollar at a time since childhood, he convinces his friends (all three of them) that this time, for sure, he is making a movie and they would be crazy not to hop on board. Now, just one female cast member short, they select the seemingly naive Daisy (Heather Graham) fresh off the Greyhound bus. She wants to make it big in Hollywood too - in the movies and in bed.
Next, Bowfinger needs a top-notch producer. He is elated when an exec is willing to take on his film. There's only one catch - Bowfinger must also nab the hottest action star alive, Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy), to star in his film or the deal's off. Of course Ramsey won't have a thing to do with Bowfinger, so he moves his B-movie to Plan B: Bowfinger lies to his cast and crew, explaining that Ramsey demands isolation from actors and the camera while he's working. That way, Bowfinger can get Ramsey to act in the movie without him ever knowing it, simply by filming cast members interacting with Ramsey in public.
With Martin writing the script and Frank Oz of Muppet fame directing, there's no lack of mature talent in this imaginative film. What's unfortunate is the many truly funny situations resulting from making a low budget film are offset by just as many unnecessary pitfalls. Along with profanities and sexual banter throughout the film, Daisy is busy using her seductive powers to successfully advance her career. (Perhaps there's some truth to this approach, accounting for the industry's obsession with sex.)
Meanwhile Bowfinger "borrows" equipment, steals Daisy's credit card, and uses illegal aliens (from the planet Mexico) to staff his crew. The script justifies these many dishonest and unethical portrayals with a heartwarming conclusion, however parents may not be able to justify showing this comedy to their children.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Bowfinger.
The emotionally charged ending has Bowfinger and his crew watching their film and looking pleased and proud with their efforts. Does the fact that they achieved their goal justify the unethical means they used in the process? Could Bowfinger have made his movie through any other means?