The Nutty Professor movie series

The Nutty Professor

The Nutty Professor is being touted as the comeback movie for Eddie Murphy. It is a story we have seen before, one where a brilliant genius-type with some physical flaw is made fun of by society. In this movie, Professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) is overweight. Coincidentally, his scientific research revolves around changing DNA to make someone, or something, thinner (the scientific details in the movie are best taken with rocks of salt). He achieves his goal just as he meets the woman of his dreams, Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett), the highly attractive grad student teaching chemistry across the hall. Because of his own insecurities about his weight, he takes his newly perfected formula to reduce weight and transforms himself into a sleek Buddy Love. The remainder of the movie is a battle between the sweet hearted Sherman and the arrogant and obnoxious Buddy in a tug-of-war as to who gets to stay around and get the girl.

The acting in this movie is mixed. Murphy himself is amazing in his numerous roles as Buddy, Sherman, and most of Sherman's family. This is an excellent venue for Murphy's incredible comic abilities and character work. The other supporting cast members are adequate but none of them stand out. The movie, however, is full of toilet humour and jokes fit for the braindead. Not that there's anything wrong with that in and of itself. As a Jim Carrey fan, I can take toilet humor, but this movie had some scenes, like the ones at the dinner table, where it was simply banal and insipid.

This movie will be a winner at the box office, since the majority of the people in the movie were laughing continually, from one toilet joke to the next. Hidden amidst the farts and the burps is a message about the way in which we treat people who are overweight and the struggle these people face in their daily lives. This comes across best in the scene with the comic in which Sherman is picked on because of his weight. In a movie where cheap humour is the major attraction, the contrast created when the entire Scream club laughing at Sherman's expense is highly empathic.

If you are an Eddie Murphy fan this is definitely worth seeing on the big screen. Otherwise, I would wait for the video.

Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps

The Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps has a lot of interesting and funny ideas. They don't come together in a cohesive manner, but given their nature I doubt they could have been put together consistently short of being extremely ruthless at the editing board.

This time, renowned scientist Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) has managed find a "youth formula" that works by altering all the somatic cells of a genome. But he has no cure for his "Buddy Love" condition that causes him to embarrass himself, à la Tourette's, in front of his love-interest Denise Gains (Janet Jackson). Sherman decides to excise the gene responsible for Buddy's presence in his personality. When he does this, not only is Buddy unleashed on the unsuspecting world, but Sherman finds that the lack of the gene also causes him to become stupid.

Buddy has his share of problems too. Not only does he have to deal with Sherman's sex-crazed grandmother while trying to deal the youth formula, but given that his rebirth involved dog DNA, he ends up being prone to canine tendencies. This is exploited to full humour in the film.

The dream sequences are examples of where there are a lot of ideas, that don't really fit in the film. For example, the combined Star Wars, Armageddon, and 2001: A Space Odyssey parody is hilarious, but it seems highly incongruous.

Again, Eddie Murphy manages to play some tremendous roles posing as the entire Klump family. The versatile characters and emotions he plays are amazing, and extremely convincing. The supporting roles by actors other than Murphy, including Janet Jackson who loves Sherman no matter what happens, and Larry Miller as Dean Richmond who's molested by a giant hamster, are strong.

The Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps does have scenes which may be offensive to those who are easily offended. But if you're not among that crowd, I highly recommend this film.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala ||