Bowfinger

  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1999

Common Sense Media says

Entertaining, great actors but not a home run.
  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1999

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Violence

Mild comic peril, some gross.

Sex

Many sexual references, character uses sex for professional advancement (played as humorous).

Language

Some.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie has a number of sexual references. The character played by Heather Graham has (offscreen) sex with just about every other character (male and female) purely to advance her career. While this is played for humor, without any suggestion that she is being exploited (quite the other way around), parents may want to talk to kids who see this movie about this behavior, as well as the choices Bowfinger himself makes by cheating, stealing, blackmailing, and lying to get his movie made.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) wants desperately to make a movie, and as he approaches his 50th birthday he thinks he is running out of time. He tries to interest a studio executive in a script called "Chubby Rain," written by an accountant, and is told the studio will make the movie IF Bowfinger can get Kit Ramsey, Hollywood's biggest action star, to agree to appear in it. When Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) won't even look at the script, Bowfinger decides to go ahead and make the movie around him, just filming him wherever he is without telling him anything about it. Bowfinger takes his $2184 lifetime stash and gets started, with the help of a studio gofer who borrows the equipment (Jamie Kennedy), a very theatrical stage actress (Christine Baranski), and an ambitious ingenue literally just off the bus from Ohio (Heather Graham), who plans to become a star in one week. They set up the camera wherever Ramsey is going to be, and just stage the various scenes around him.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

BOWFINGER has some very funny moments but is oddly low-key, from its slow set-up of the premise to its lack of follow-through on some of the comic possibilities. Some of the humor may be too inside for those who do not follow Hollywood gossip. Watching Martin, Murphy, Baranski, and Graham -- all in fine form here -- is reason enough to see any movie, but in this case the script (written by Martin) is not as strong as it could have been.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what kind of movie could be made by filming family members as they go about their daily lives.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 13, 1999
DVD release date:January 18, 2000
Cast:Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham, Steve Martin
Director:Frank Oz
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sex-related material and language

This review of Bowfinger was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byDarkdani17 August 23, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Haha this movie is so funny, it's really creative on how his movie gets made. I'm looking to go into the film bussiness and this showed me how things work haha.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Educator Written byfif May 12, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Mostly funny, some sexual humor

Having studied film and worked on films I found most of the jokes hilarious. There is a lot of mild sexual humor, so it may not be for everyone.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byMovieMan26 October 10, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Not the best comedy you'll ever see, but still a good one

A great comedy, although very sexual in nature. The cast is really great and works together well. But, no matter how many good parts there are in this film, it just doesn't fell like a great movie overall. There are some serious flaws, such as the rediculousness of the situation (although, most of the time it's quite fun). This movie is very conflicting for me. Oh well, I still like it. Bottom Line: Try it out. You might like it. Thanks for reading! - Movie Man

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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