Bowfinger

1999

Bowfinger

Critics Consensus

A witty commentary on modern film-making, with enough jokes to keep it entertaining throughout.

81%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 110

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 74,145
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Movie Info

Bobby Bowfinger is a shameless wannabe film producer, who is desperate to break into the Hollywood big-time in spite of the fact that he's broke and unconnected. His plans are thwarted when he is unable to land Hollywood's hottest action star, Kit Ramsey for the lead roll in his movie. Undaunted, Bowfinger decides to make the film with Ramsey anyway, except that Kit won't know he's in it. Determined, Bowfinger and his motley crew surreptitiously stalk their unwitting star through the streets of Los Angeles. They film Kit's every move and trap him in scenes he doesn't know he is in, turning Kit's life into a paranoid nightmare, as Bowfinger's crazy schemes become more and more outrageous.

Cast

Steve Martin
as Bobby Bowfinger
Eddie Murphy
as Kit Ramsey/Jiff Ramsey
Terence Stamp
as Terry Stricter
Robert Downey Jr.
as Jerry Renfro
Barry Newman
as Kit's Agent
John Prosky
as MindHead Executive
Michael Dempsey
as Camera Security Guard
Walter Powell
as Federal Express Man
Phill Lewis
as Actor at Audition
Marisol Nichols
as Young Actress at Audition
Nathan Anderson
as Clothing Sales Clerk
Brogan Roche
as Renfro's Executive
John Cho
as Nightclub Cleaner
Lloyd Berman
as Camera Store Clerk
Zaid Farid
as Kit's Limo Driver
Aaron Brumfield
as Kit's Bodyguard
Kevin Grevioux
as Kit's Bodyguard
Kimble Jemison
as Kit's Assistant
Alex Craig Mann
as Studio Executive
Laura Grady
as E Channel Interviewer
Reamy Hall
as Farrah
Michelle Boehle
as Laker Girl
Kimberly Baum
as Laker Girl
Megan Denton
as Laker Girl
Janet Jaeger
as Laker Girl
Hope Wood
as Laker Girl
Addie Yungmee
as Laker Girl
Andrea Toste
as Laker Girl
View All

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Critic Reviews for Bowfinger

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (89) | Rotten (21)

Audience Reviews for Bowfinger

  • May 01, 2016
    When I was a young boy, I remember, vividly, going to the films with my mother every weekend. I remember we'd have to take the bus, since we did not have a car and our grandfather, who did have a car, didn't live with us. I remember seeing so many movies as a kid and that is, probably, one of my favorite memories of my youth. One of the movies I saw as a youth was actually this one. The 11-year-old me, at this point in time, only really wanted to see this film because I thought Eddie Murphy was a funny man. That's it. I don't remember what I thought at the time, but it's highly likely that I did not enjoy that movie when I was 11-year-old. There were just certain parts of the film and its satirical commentary on film that I just wouldn't have been smart enough to pick on. It's not like the film is completely inclusive, in that only people smart enough about the industry could understand it, the film is also somewhat broad to appeal to appeal to a more casual crowd. So I thought that was smart but, again, I don't think I was advanced enough in my development to truly appreciate this movie. I'm not about to say that this is a subversive work of genius comedy, but it is an entertaining movie nonetheless. There's a couple of scenes where the film shows that it's actually more relevant about the film industry today than, perhaps, it even was when it first came out. The one scene I'm talking about is the one where Kit Ramsey talks about how he hasn't won an Oscar because he hasn't played a slave role and how white actors get all the good roles that win all the Oscars. It's a tremendous scene not only because it's funny, the line about the retarded slave might probably the best line in the entire movie, but also because of how real it is. It's even more relevant when you take into consideration that Chiwetel Ejiofor, one of this generation's most gifted actors, only got an Oscar nomination for playing, you guessed it, a slave. Who knew that Steve Martin, as a screenwriter, was so ahead of the real issues that are permeating the film industry as we speak. I think things are better for black actors nowadays than they were in, even, 1999, but that's like growing from 5% penetration of all the homes that have TV in the use to, like, 10%. You did double your penetration, what an unfortunate sentence right there, but you're still not in that many homes. But the film also has a lot of absurd and entertaining scenes. I love the idea of filming a movie where the star doesn't even know they're in it. It's not like documentaries, where someone infiltrates a company to expose certain misdeeds, it's a sci-fi film and that concept did, again, lend itself to some funny moments. I'm not saying the film isn't completely consistent and the subplot with Heather Graham's character being a gold-digger who moves on to people higher up on the ladder for her own selfish reasons seems unnecessary honestly. I'm sure Martin was trying to say something with this, but how that had any relevance to the film and its overall narrative is beyond me. Obviously the film slows down a bit, but it regains its footing once it comes near the end. Another thing the film did, and perhaps that's unknowingly, is show how smaller producers/directors/etc, like Bowfinger, actually do what they do for the love of film. They may not get all the permits necessary to do what they do, they may not have the biggest budget and they may not even have their star's permission to be in their film, but they're doing this because they love film and want desperately to be a part of this world. This is why, to me, Ed Wood will always be a considerably superior filmmaker than Michael Bay, despite, actively, making worse movies that Michael Bay could ever dream of. Ed Wood did it for the love of making films, Michael Bay makes shitty movies so he can take people's money. And that is the difference between the two. And that is one of the film's strongest points, to me at least. But that's about it, it's not perfect and it might not have super gracefully, but this is still an enjoyable little film with a great cast, Eddie Murphy and Christine Baranski are great here, a solid script and just an energetic pace and tone. Might not be a comedic classic, or a 90s comedy classic for that matter, but it's a fun movie that I would recommend for sure.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 07, 2013
    "Bowfinger" embraces the horrible things that have always come from Hollywood, from the scams to breaking the law, and displays them in a very comedic way in this film, making a film that is clearly going to be terrible from the beginning. Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin shows their true acting talents here as Martin's character runs around the city trying to film Murphy's character to make a film with him as the main star. Things conveniently fall into place and some scenes feel bit easy, but in the end the film is a blast to watch and it really made me laugh a lot. It's not the greatest film in the world, but if you are a fan of films, you should have a blast watching this. The director had an eye for detail her and the screenplay is genius. "Bowfinger" is great!
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Dec 21, 2012
    One of the best comedies of the late 90s. The collaboration was perfect. I loved the jokes, the running gags, the script, the music, and Eddie Murphy, he could so win an Oscar for best actor. I could watch it over and over again, I love the parodies used in the film. It's a really clever piece of rare gem, a must see.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Nov 17, 2011
    I must have watched this about a million times. It makes me laugh out loud like not many other movies. Can you say guilty pleasure ? I guess so.
    Hugo S Super Reviewer

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