Making the Grades
Is it Eddie Murphy or Eddie Morphy? After watching The Nutty Professor, you don't know who is on screen anymore, as Murphy instantly morphs from one character to another. Among the seven people Murphy portrays, the central figure is Sherman Klump, a kind, considerate science professor who weighs in at 400 pounds. In his desperate attempt to try and become thin, Klump gulps down his experimental formula that he hopes will provide instant weight control. Immediately, Klump is transformed into Buddy Love, a thin and "normal" Eddie Murphy.
Buddy Love not only looks like Murphy, he acts like him. The script blames his obnoxious behavior on the high level of testosterone that develops as a side effect from the transformation. What really seems to be happening is Murphy has discovered a way to play both sides of the fence, being Mr. Nice as well as his usual caustic self.
Murphy fans will love this movie, and will be happy to see that he is still able to steal the show. Murphy plays all the members of Klump's family, including his grandmother and mother, and in doing so, shows how capable his talents are. This is a demanding film for him, and he brings the movie far beyond a novelty flic where you are only watching to see how the makeup and special effects were done.
At the same time, the big problem with the film is Murphy. He seems to demand a script chock full of sexual innuendo and rude jokes. Among other memorable moments, this movie contains one of the longest flatulence scenes I have ever had the joy to view. It also portrays a very stereotyped view of obesity, one that many viewers may find offensive.
In the end, Murphy's character Klump comes to the conclusion that it isn't how you look, but what's inside that makes you who you are. A nice thought, but with the other content involved, I cannot recommend this movie for viewing by children of any age. However, adult fans of Murphy may enjoy this energetic performance.