Boomerang

 
Murphy romcom is way too sexual for kids.
  • Review Date: July 18, 2010
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 116 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main character is a womanizer who never commits to a relationship. When he finally falls in love with his boss, she gives him a taste of his own medicine, making him learn how it feels to be treated as an object. With this lesson under his belt, he finally falls in love for real and commits.

Positive role models

Marcus isn't exactly a terrific role model. He spends most of the film either treating women as objects or becoming an object himself. He treats love as a game, and plans each next move to his best advantage. Toward the end, he learns his lesson and must try to make up for his mistakes to win the girl he really loves.

Violence

Two male characters get into a brief argument over a girl.

Sex

There's almost no nudity, but it's wall-to-wall sex talk. The main character is a single womanizer who sleeps with many women and then loses interest. He finally meets a woman he likes, and sleeps with her several times. But then he falls in love with one final woman, sleeps with her, and spends the rest of the film trying to win her. Several other women characters flirt with him. In-between characters talk about sex almost constantly, when it's going to happen, with whom, various body parts, and all kinds of language. Both women and men "climax" while having sex (nothing shown). One partial breast is seen.

Language

The language is generally toned down from the usual Eddie Murphy vehicle, but "f--k" is heard more than once, and "s--t" is used several times. We also hear "p---y" several times. Additionally, there's "bitch," "orgasm," "dick," "damn," "ho," "vagina," "lesbo," "balls," "ass," "come," "merde" ("s--t" in French). Additionally, there's the "N" word and a reference to "jungle bunnies."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adult characters occasionally drink beer and wine in a social way, with no overindulgence.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Boomerang is an Eddie Murphy romantic comedy that is focused on sex, but contains very little nudity. Characters discuss sex, ranging from ways to win girls to body parts, in nearly every scene. Some characters sleep with multiple partners, and other characters openly try to seduce one another. Aside from this, the movie is filled with fairly typical Eddie Murphy language, although most of the words are in reference to sex. The movie tries to be a bit more sophisticated than the usual Murphy vehicle, so it's light on toilet humor. It has some historical interest, as it comes from an era in which African-American movies were booming, but it's not for kids; it isn't likely to interest them, anyway.

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What's the story?

Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy) is a successful advertising executive at a big city cosmetics firm. He's a bachelor and enjoys great success with women, though he refuses to commit; the shape of their toes can be enough of a reason to dump them. Suddenly, a woman named Jacqueline Broyer (Robin Givens) is promoted and becomes his boss; Marcus is smitten with her, but she treats him roughly the same way he has always treated other women. Meanwhile, Marcus finds that he enjoys the company of another employee, Angela (Halle Berry). Can he renounce his womanizing ways and find true love?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Boomerang is arguably more interesting in theory than it is in execution. It was part of a boom of African-American movies in the early 1990s, and Eddie Murphy clearly went out of his way to get in on this trend; he acquired an African-American director, Reginald Hudlin, who had made House Party (1990), and cast the movie almost entirely with African-Americans. It even features a cameo by pioneer filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles. Moreover, it was an attempt at a more sophisticated, grown-up comedy for Murphy, focusing on adults in a workplace, and on adult, sexual relationships.

The movie attempts a fascinating role-reversal, with a strong female character treating Murphy as a sex object, but whether it actually works is up for debate. Many found the movie too vulgar or shallow, but it does contain many interesting and/or funny sequences. Chris Rock, John Witherspoon, and David Alan Grier provide amusing support, and the adorable Halle Berry is the movie's soul.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's sex talk. Characters talk about sex a lot, but does anyone actually learn anything useful?

  • Is Marcus a good person? What does he learn over the course of the story? Does he become a better person?

  • Is the movie a good representation of African-Americans? Of women? Or is it stereotypical?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 1, 1992
DVD release date:September 24, 2002
Cast:Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry, Robin Givens
Director:Reginald Hudlin
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:116 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and sexuality

This review of Boomerang was written by

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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